Aside from billing matters and service calls, customers historically have had little interaction with their utility providers.
But that model is rapidly changing. New technology, deregulation, an evolving smart grid, and an increasingly tech-savvy consumer class are continuing to change the rules of the game, and utilities must adapt — or risk becoming relics of a bygone era.
Newly empowered customers, accustomed to higher standards from other service providers, are demanding more transparency and control over their energy consumption, and they are willing to partner with their utility to make this happen. The result should be a new, more collaborative type of customer relationship — one that puts the customer at the center of a utility’s business strategy.
Easier said than done. While the smart grid will allow utilities to achieve a more granular understanding of their customers’ desires — and, in time, to translate this knowledge into benefits — the road there is still filled with obstacles that few may be adequately prepared for.
Although much of the regulatory and environmental landscape is outside of a regulated utility company’s direct control, your business model is not.
A proactive customer engagement strategy is a must. That requires making critical investment decisions on how to interact with customers in the future, how to improve customer service, how to enhance revenue assurance and how to manage and reduce service costs.
It also means developing innovative energy products and solutions that meet the changing needs of your customer base — not to mention the dictates of utility commissions – while focusing on streamlining business processes, and competing for high-caliber talent.
With over 4,ooo industry-focused professionals globally—PwC’s Power & Utilities practice is well placed to help.
From customer-engagement tools such as Voice of the Customer, CIS, customer experience improvement and social media; to cost and process improvements such as billing and revenue assurance, Smart-Meter back-office integration and energy-efficiency program audits; to product and service innovations and technology; we have the people, solutions and market intelligence to help you navigate the profound changes you face. And come out ahead in the most critical metric of all — getting closer to your customer.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help you develop a winning customer-centric strategy.