Customer relationships make a tricky area for utility businesses, more so now that the new-age digital customers have new expectations. While traditional utility business models did not require high levels of interaction with consumers, things are no longer the same. Right now, there is a need to provide innovative digital tools for self-service and roll out new products and services if you want to retain consumers for the long haul. There isn’t a tried and tested plan to drive customer success in this domain, but some measures can still help. Here are the ones you can implement.
Redefine Customer Segments
Like any other industry, utilities must know the consumers so that they can deliver to their expectations. The current need is to create segments because you have to cater to tech-savvy people whose expectations differ from those of novices. The best way to redefine these segments is by using data and analytics to analyze and define them. Research the usage trends and patterns to get a fair idea of consumers likely to engage with specific programs. Having a clear understanding of the audience will give you the right direction and help you create a plan for customer success.
Revisit Your Business Model
Knowing your business model is as important as understanding your consumers if you want to boost your revenues and retention. You need to think out of the box, as people want you to do more than just keeping the lights on. It is time to rethink your products and offerings to stay ahead of customer expectations and competitors. The current business model for utility companies should also focus on mitigating cyber threats because consumers are more conscious than ever about data privacy and controls. Revamping your business model will take time, effort, and investment, but the initiative is worthwhile. You can collaborate with a partner who can guide you about streamlining business processes, enhancing customer service, improving cybersecurity, and making your business model future-ready.
Invest in Customer-Centric Evolution
Segmenting consumers and revisiting the business model is only half the work done. The real work starts with customer-centric evolution. Futuristic utilities have to emphasize a segmented value proposition that aligns with the needs of the individual customer. It is possible only if you have clear segments to start with. Further, you must be able to identify opportunities for new services and understand what drives satisfaction before acting on your evolutionary plan.
Follow the Customer
Customer success isn’t a one-time task. You need to have someone to monitor and manage it throughout their lifetime with the business. Consider training the service reps to fit into the role of success managers who understand the needs of the consumers and recommend the best solutions for them. Having people for handling human interaction isn’t enough. You also have to empower them with digital tools to enable better interactions and rapid problem-solving.
Although achieving customer success is a challenge for utilities, it isn’t an impossible feat. The right strategic approach that focuses on consumer needs is the best start. It is equally important to have a flexible mindset that makes it easier to realign the business model according to the evolving market and regulatory landscapes.