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Give Utility Customers the Experience They Deserve: CS Week 2015

by: Jeff McPherson Chief Digital Officer

I recently got back from presenting at CS Week, the leading conference for customer service in the utility sector, and one core takeaway really resonated with me – everything is about the customer. It started with an informative presentation with keynote speaker Lynn Good, CEO of Duke Energy. Her main takeaway? Understand your customer and their experience across all channels.

Everything is About the Customer

Lynn’s presentation was perfect timing considering Walt Stefy from Pepco Holdings, Inc. and I had the pleasure to present on the Development of an Organizational Wide Digital Strategy. Implementing a digital strategy is rooted in your customers’ experience. Our presentation focused heavily on creating personas, developing a content strategy and the overall user experience. An integral component to creating an optimal user experience is ensuring consistency across all of your communication channels. Your customers need to receive the same messages on your website, as they do on your social channels, and your other communication modes.

What is a Great Experience?

I was able to chat with major utility players like Pepco, Eversource, PSEG and EPCOR, and they’re all interested and invested in achieving the same goal: delivering a great experience that is similar to common web experiences.

A great user experience is convenient and relevant. Creating personas will help you deliver the message to the right group of customers at the right time. Providing customers specific, personalized content – such as service notifications based on geographic locations – will put the right information in front of them when they need it.

Give Your Customers a Great Web Experience

Utility providers need to remove the silo effect and stop looking at each piece of the puzzle separately. Providers need to look holistically at how a customer experiences their brand – from a website visit on a mobile device, online bill pay, to brand exposure.

Improving business processes are great for internal scaling, but how do these changes affect your customers? A digital strategy goes beyond internal processes and begs to ask, “How do I want my customers to experience my brand?” Establish a social media and content strategy to ensure timely and appropriate service outage notifications. Create a responsive website so your customers can read communication notices or pay their bill online on any device. Develop consistent branding across all channels – social media, website, and bill pay portals. If you give your customers a smooth, seamless experience, their experience with your brand will be a positive one.

You can download my presentation to learn more about developing an organizational wide digital strategy, as well as see our award-winning digital strategy implementation for Pepco Holdings, Inc.