Putting Customers At The Heart of Transformation :: Insights from the Energy Customer Conference 2015

21st October 2015 10:26

Written by Ali Sims, Research Director 

What a thoroughly enjoyable day I had at Marketforce’s The Energy Customer conference. There were several themes running through the Putting Customers At The Heart of Transformation :: Insights from the Energy Customer Conference 2015papers with the over-riding theme being that the sector is going through a massive transformation. What an exciting time to work in the sector - I feel lucky to be involved almost 20 years on from my first energy sector project – a CSAT project for Yorkshire Electricity!!

Changes in technology are promising to make life easier for the consumer and should leave them more in control. We will be able to generate our own electricity (the solar PV market is 9 years ahead of what was predicted!), monitor our own energy consumption using a smart meter and in home display (29m homes will have a smart meter by 2020) and we may well be charging our own cars at home (it is predicted that every new car sold in 10 years’ time will be electric). With energy companies busy innovating, it is likely that we will be able to do a lot more as well with the introduction of assisted living, smart security and more.

This presents many challenges to the DNOs in terms of managing supply and demand and the retailers in terms of ensuring that they are data ready, meter ready and that they are ready to support customers on this transformation. This presents a huge opportunity for companies who are keen to engage an audience who only thinks about energy for 7 minutes a year[1].

So how can this be done? It is clear that a lot of market research is taking place, whether it’s testing new bill formats or customer satisfaction with different stages of the customer journey. The challenge now is to take it further. How is your service going to not just satisfy customers, but delight them and make them loyal? To do this requires customers to think outside of energy and to look to other sectors which deliver excellent customer service. It’s about ensuring that customers are at the heart of your processes – what are they thinking and feeling about you every step of the way.

We’re looking forward to this period of transformation. If you’d like us to help you move forward, please visit: our utilities webpage or feel free to contact myself on asims@djsresearch.com or 01663-767857.

[1] Sarah Jane Asquith SSE

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