Utilities that are proactive and embrace the opportunity for deeper relationships with customers will be the winners in this increasingly competitive landscape.
In The Customer-Focused Utility, IBM’s Bob Brnilovich succinctly sums up the state of the utilities industry:
The industry is in transition. External factors including shifts in governmental policies, a globally felt sense of urgency about conserving energy, advances in power-generation techniques and new technologies are driving massive changes throughout the industry. These pressures are putting utility providers in a seriously competitive, market-driven environment where the customer experience becomes a primary differentiator.
The massive shift from providing a product only to offering customizable services and solutions for unique energy needs requires that energy companies become more agile, cross-functional and service-oriented. To create loyal customers as the industry undergoes these seismic changes, customer-facing employees, primarily in the contact center, will need tools to intelligently guide them, step by step, in even the most complex customer-service and upselling situations. And they will need to effectively engage in conversations with consumers to help them understand the value of change.
The Changing Role of the Utility Agent
Dennis Smith, President, Research & Information Delivery, Chartwell, Inc., writes in his blog article, “Smart Grid will Require Smart Contact Centers” about how the Smart Grid is changing the role of the agent. Traditional calls to a utility contact center used to focus on billing or payments, outages, emergencies or service appointments. But this is rapidly evolving. “The utility CSR of the future will need to understand energy consumption and the capabilities new technology will bring and be able to intelligently convey the information and solutions that customers will demand.”
These massive changes challenge utilities to refocus on the contact center and its role in driving revenues and building a loyal customer base. Learn how Cincom Synchrony can help.