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Utilities of Tomorrow Start with Intelligence at the Customer’s Fingertips

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When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, electricity became an instant commodity, and the utility industry was born. Established to power and connect communities, schools, parks, libraries and homes, the utility industry should be a pioneer in customer service and deliver unparalleled experiences. 

Customers today expect customized experiences like Netflix or Amazon—hyper-personalized, and seemingly better at predicting our own needs before we realize them. The utilities industry is no exception as many companies focus on modernization to improve customer experiences. These improvements can facilitate customer decision-making that directly impacts their lives.  

Until recent years, most utility providers struggled with customer experiences. Today, the utility environment is rich with opportunity to improve it—consumers are hungry for information and expect timely, relevant data at their fingertips. Most customers want to understand their energy consumption and waste, weather events and power outages, and when something requires attention in their home that drives consumption and cost (i.e., a water pipe burst). 

Technology and environmental factors such as the global pandemic are making it even more important to deliver the insights that customers seek, in the right way at the right time. 

Be the Leader in Customer Service

To meet the evolving needs of modern utility customers, companies across the U.S. are leveraging new technologies, predictive modeling and data-driven products to provide improved customer experiences and options to self-serve. 

For example, many utility companies are now sending weather and service delivery interruption event notifications to customers across multiple digital channels (email, SMS, push notifications, social media and more), helping to keep them safe and informed. While the experience is improved directly with the customer, the benefits are recognized in back-end support as well. Data management is streamlined, giving support teams a clear, intuitive user-interface with a more comprehensive view of customers to better serve them, from billing inquiries to case management. Benefits include increases in customer satisfaction and improved efficiencies in customer service.

These types of autonomous customer service solutions are powering the future of utilities, helping them move from a “connected consumer” mindset to an “integrated customer approach” where everyone—from customers and employees to key stakeholders, executives and board members—are equipped with intelligence at their fingertips. 

This is the future of the utilities industry—and only utilities with updated technology, actionable data and optimized business processes will be able to provide the type of satisfaction that today’s utility customers demand. 

Having a strategic roadmap and outcome governance in place to serve as a long-term guide is perhaps the most critical component for utility companies intent on delivering the best customer experience in the most efficient way possible. Our Veracity Utilities Practice has seasoned professionals with experience across multiple utility functional areas, including the entire meter-to-cash lifecycle, digital transformation, customer programs, field processes, outage management and customer service. We can partner on transformational roadmap development for system modernization or provide specialized roles on utility initiatives. Reach out to us for more information on how we can help.

About Stacy Schieffer
Stacy Schieffer, PMP, is Director of Delivery at Veracity, a consulting firm that helps commercial, federal, state and local government clients with their business and strategic initiatives. We understand your needs first, develop a plan of action and deliver results. Visit www.veracityit.com for more information.