The power of customer service: 5 ways utility companies can boost satisfaction.
As the digital revolution continues to shake up our daily lives, with the arrival of smart metres, electric vehicles, and renewable energies to name a few. However, few sectors are feeling the heat quite as much as the utility sector. The sector is faced with the twin innovative challenges of trying to meet ever-increasing customer expectations while at the same time contending with significant demand shifts.
Furthermore, utility providers are adapting to be more flexible and innovative than ever before due to the current high inflation and cost of living crisis. This is driving the need to find new ways to meet the ever-changing needs of the customers and remain competitive in a challenging market. The urgency of this situation makes it a topic of great interest to anyone concerned with the rising cost of living and its impact and the impact to us as customers.
In addition, the energy and water sector are undergoing significant changes due to increased demand and reduced supply. These changes require the sector to adapt their customer service solutions to meet the shifting expectations and behaviours of consumers. With a focus on conserving resources and reducing environmental impact, the sector must balance affordability, sustainability, and reliability. This creates an opportunity to differentiate themselves from competitors by offering tailored services to meet the unique needs of your customers
In this ever changing environment, utility companies face the challenge of attracting and retaining customers while providing reliable and efficient services. Boosting customer satisfaction and retention is a sure-fire way to do this and will control costs, build resilience and create impact, so here are five ways utility companies can boost their satisfaction and retention through customer service:
Embrace a customer-centric approach
The sector is experiencing a seismic shift in the wake of the digital revolution. From smart metres to electric vehicles and renewable energy, the industry is facing significant changes that are transforming the way we consume and manage energy. But with these changes come new challenges and opportunities, making the sector one of the most dynamic and exciting industries to watch.
With this in mind, the sector should adopt a customer-centric approach by ensuring that all teams consider the customer needs and goals along all steps of their journeys. This ensures that evidence based decisions are driving the business forward, reducing the risk of producing the wrong products and services as well as enabling new and innovative products and services to be considered and built.
This approach can help gain valuable insights into the needs and preferences of your customers. With this information, you can develop tailor-made products and services that cater to your customers' needs, leading to higher retention rates.
Customer delight - boosting customer satisfaction
By investing in technology and training, utility suppliers can equip the customer service teams with the skills and resources necessary to provide timely and effective support to customers. Moreover, providing multi-channel support is another way to enhance customer service. By providing customers with a variety of channels to choose from, such as phone, email, chat, and social media can offer more convenience, leading to higher satisfaction rates. Service design is also crucial in this process, as it involves ensuring that these channels are aligned and working together seamlessly to provide a consistent and efficient customer experience.
Adopting a self-service approach and providing digital training to employees can lead to reduced call volume, improved customer service for vulnerable customers, retention of skilled talent, increased engagement in the supply chain process, and greater efficiency. Take a look at all the benefits:
- Reduce the call service – self service vs assistance support. Focusing on the important calls and dealing with vulnerable customers
- Enabling colleagues and staff to become digital savvy and being able to keep skilled talent
- Enabling employees to become more engaged in the performance of the whole supply chain process and moving away from silos/call centres with the right information to deal with the customers.
We can help enhance your customer service by developing customised training programmes for your customer service teams and provide innovative solutions to improve your support services. This has the added knock-on effect of building resilience within your organisation at the same time.
Innovate service delivery
Furthermore, innovating service delivery is critical to the success of utility companies. To stay competitive in today's market, companies must be open to adopting cutting-edge technologies and novel business models to improve their service delivery. By integrating renewable energy sources and implementing smart grid technology, utility companies can achieve more efficient and sustainable operations. Additionally, leveraging data analytics can help utility companies gain insights into customer behaviour and preferences, enabling them to tailor their services accordingly.
We specialise in helping utility companies adopt cutting-edge technologies and business models to improve service delivery, such as smart grid technology and renewable energy sources, while also promoting evidence-based decision-making through the use of data analytics and user-centred design (UCD) methodology to gain insights into customer behaviour and preferences, enabling you to tailor your services accordingly.
Adopting cutting edge technology such as this is achieved through a constant focus on outcomes and an iterative approach that ensures safe and quick delivery.
Develop sustainable solutions
As utility companies face increasing pressure to address environmental concerns and prioritise sustainability, investing in renewable energy sources and energy-efficient technologies not only benefits the environment, but also streamlines processes, improves digital flow, reduces costs, enhances reputation as a socially responsible business, and meets legal requirements enforced by governments through ESG regulations. As customers become more environmentally conscious, companies that prioritise sustainability are more likely to attract and retain their business, highlighting the importance of taking a proactive approach to sustainability.
We can provide solutions that help you reduce your carbon footprint and energy consumption, such as developing energy-efficient technologies and implementing renewable energy sources. Not only does this have a positive impact on the environment, it has the dual effect of reducing your costs. It’s a win win.
Foster partnerships and collaborations
To drive sustainable growth, utility companies should foster partnerships and collaborations with other sectors, governments, and organisations. Such collaborations facilitate the exchange of knowledge, resources, and expertise, aiding in the development of innovative solutions that benefit customers and the environment. By working together, the sector can achieve more significant results than they could alone.
We have a broad network of partners across various industries and can facilitate collaborations that enable knowledge and resource sharing. By working together, we can develop innovative solutions that benefit both the customers and the environment.
If you want to continue to strengthen customer satisfaction and retention rates, get in touch with us to discuss more. By utilising our expertise and solutions, you can achieve sustainable growth, remain competitive in the market, and boost customer satisfaction and retention rates.