Utilities companies have, for many years, faced a number of organisational challenges. Changing regulatory requirements, rising cost of energy, availability of supply and corporate and social responsibility have long kept these businesses on their toes. But in more recent years we’ve seen a drastic sea change whereby new entrants have entered the market, fuelling competition in the industry with flexible and cost-effective services. At the heart of this sits digital innovation.
In fact, digital services are quickly becoming the differentiator between those companies winning the battle of acquiring and retaining customers and those who are not. No longer just an added value, digital is now a fundamental part of the way utility companies communicate with their customers. And as the Internet of Everything grows into a reality and smart cities and metering become the norm, the role of the provider in providing a connected experience will only become more crucial.
This is backed up by our Digital Inside Out report, which examined attitudes around digital services in the utilities sector. It told us that not only do 73% of consumers opt for the digital option when it’s offered, but also that there is real demand from customers and employees alike for the sector to do more in the digital space. Currently less than half (48%) of the consumers we surveyed, and even fewer employees (40%) are satisfied with the digital services provided by their utility company – a cause for concern in an increasingly digital age.
As a nation we are becoming increasingly savvy. From environmental awareness to understanding the competitive landscape, right through to paying the right price for services. This translates into increasing consumer demand for Utilities providers, and digital is at the crux of this. Responding to this demand – and ensuring that customers are educated on how to make the most of these services – will result in better customer relationships and stronger retention. And at that point, utilities providers can become innovators by introducing personalised digitalised services – delivering the kind of customer experience the digital national demands.