Going through this week’s live studio interviews that Engerati conducted with a number of industry experts and company representatives at the recent European Utility Week, it has come to my attention that the energy industry is placing more and more of its focus on the customer and really trying to understand them and tap into their needs.
Utilities and vendors alike realise that digitization is the way forward and that innovative products and services have to be geared to meet real needs otherwise a great deal of money could go to waste. It is therefore critical that utilities develop a close relationship with their customers in order to understand what is important to them. Through meaningful and even personalized communication means, utilities can expect to develop a more intimate relationship with their customers, thereby reducing churn.
Utilities can do this by using existing means of communication, such as email, telephone, sms and the post in order to find out exactly what customers’ and their business needs are. Once these needs are understood, utilities can adopt the latest digital solutions that are appropriate to both their own needs, as well as their customers’.
I agree with Alex Laskey, President & Founder, Opower who points out that utilities must first re-establish trust and improve the customer relationship. Once this is done, the relationship can be enhanced through additional touch points and then they can sell other value-added services to the customer and create new “moments” and relationships. [Rebuilding Customers’ Trust Through Better Communication.]
It's all about getting the basics right first.
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Emerging customer participation in the energy market is giving rise to the concept of transactive energy - a concept which is gathering momentum as an energy trading platform to support the growth of distributed energy resources and customer participation in the energy market.
Partnering with data innovation companies may help utilities fill in service gaps. In this live panel interview about data analytics, Engerati invited three guests to the studio at European Utility Week 2014 to discuss how data analytics is changing the delivery of energy to consumers and that data should be used to improve energy efficiency and utility operations.