To deliver in the new energy paradigm, suppliers need to focus on two key areas – technology and service provision.
The energy market is being disrupted and transformed around the world. According to a recent foreword in the Global Innovation Index Report “Innovation lies at the core of any solution to the challenges facing our world today” – further Tim Ryan of PwC expands “The Global Innovation Index (GII), by creating metrics through which innovation can be measured across the globe, helps identify ways that innovation can better serve society and the challenges we face.”
The report theme is ‘Energizing the World with Innovation’ and amongst the many topics it covers are the democratization of elements such as power generation through local solar and wind solutions plus peer to peer distribution capabilities through blockchain. Consumers will be presented with unprecedented access, control and choice. In some respects, this is an element of future gazing, what is important now is how organizations ensure that that they have the correct foundations in technology and service provision.
In combining these two elements, businesses need to look ahead and invest in technology that allows for service excellence in the field by facilitating smart services, proactive maintenance, team collaboration for fast issue resolution, and data capture and analysis. That means putting the right platforms and software in place to integrate the mobile technologies service teams need. New solutions need to be quick to deploy and adapt. This calls for a robust technology infrastructure, most likely cloud-based, that supports the fast, agile evolution of processes around finance, resource planning and asset management.
Companies need to do more than meet customer expectations. To get ahead in this race, they need to anticipate and exceed them through a combination of careful relationship management, product performance and after-market service.
According to an IDC study, many companies in the Energy & Utilities market could benefit from improving their customer service:
Customer expectations have changed significantly over recent years. Consumers are now looking for more sophisticated services that will allow them to control and monitor their energy usage in real-time from any location, and log support requests and issues via the channels that suit them best.
This moves service provision away from the traditional one-size-fits-all approach towards personalized lifestyle-focused solutions that support individual habits and wellbeing. Which in turn demands a more proactive, dynamic approach to field and customer service.
To build and maintain smart infrastructure, field service technicians and engineers need to be empowered by connected, mobile technologies. This includes integrating wearables, augmented reality and voice applications to improve service speed and quality. To support changing communication habits, customer service needs to extend across multiple channels with contact centres that seamlessly connect the dots between telephone calls, tweets, texts and any other channel favoured in the service region. Meeting these growing expectations is a challenge. Not only are many Energy and Utility companies under-equipped with transformative technology, but a significant proportion are still struggling to meet customer satisfaction levels around existing services.
I would encourage you to take a look at our recently produced eBook for examples of IFS customers who are making these changes and achieving benefits, as well as a general commentary on the evolving market. Alternatively, do not hesitate to contact me directly.
IFS are sponsoring European Utility Week in Vienna, Austria in November 2018, do come and visit our stand if you’re attending the event.
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