In this third stage of smart metering maturity, we start to move away from the basics of cost management and towards improving the customer’s experience.
When I talk about improving the customer’s experience, I mean deliver outcomes the customer wants, on their terms. That means, finding out what frustrates the customer about your service and fixing it. It means creating experiences they didn’t even know they wanted and making them available.
Be smart about where you spend your ‘customer experience’ dollars. Don’t go building a bunch of features that requires the customer to sit down at a computer, log in and analyze their own consumption. We all have limited discretionary time and very few of us want to use it trying to make sense of our electricity usage. We want services that make our busy lives easy, services that remove the need for us to talk to anyone at our electricity company.
So when looking at where to improve your customer’s experience, ask yourself the following:
- Have you fixed the basics? As mentioned in previous posts, get the bills right and get them out on time.
- What exceptions are your back-office working on? Behind every exception is a customer. Focus on eliminating those exceptions.
- Do you understand why customers are calling you? If not, find out, and fix it so they don’t feel the need to call you.
Once you’ve fixed the basics, you can then explore new experiences that focus on making the customer’s life more convenient such as allowing the customer to set the date and frequency of when they get billed.
If you’ve not yet fixed the basics, are you confident your ‘customer experience’ dollars are being spent in the right places?
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