Enabling Experience Management in Utilities

Launched in January, the Energy Charter, a voluntary principles-based disclosure regime, seeks to push the utilities sector towards improved customer-centricity: “Energy businesses will be required to provide measures and metrics to evidence progress against the Principles and Principles in Action, and how they translate as improved customer outcomes.”

The Energy Charter outlines customer-centric commitments from energy businesses that complement existing regulator obligations. The five principles of the Energy Charter are:

1.      Develop a culture of innovation and collaboration that focuses on customer outcomes.
2.      Invest in cost efficiency technology and processes while working with supply chain and stakeholders to improve affordability.
3.      Focus on delivering clean, reliable, and safe energy solutions in line with legislation’s and consumers’ demand for more environmentally conscious energy.
4.      Empower customers through omni-channel solutions for service delivery and communication – this will help build customer loyalty, retention, and potential advocacy through improved satisfaction.
5.      Use data analytics to identify at-risk customers, developing flexible products and services tailored to those consumers.

The execution of Utilities’ commitment to the Energy Charter is underpinned by understanding community and customer sentiment and acting upon this feedback to fine-tune offers and business processes.

Experience Management and what it means for Utilities

Experience Management (XM) is the process of monitoring every interaction people experience with a company in order to spot opportunities for improvement. It is the capability that bridges the gap between company operations and stakeholders’ experiences. This is vital for understanding and improving how customers interact with businesses such as utility providers. Experience management goes far beyond the feedback received from occasional customer surveys – it uses situational awareness powered by operational and experience data to create an interaction point between businesses and consumers.

By adopting this holistic and iterative approach to improvement, Utilities can gain insights into how to create data-driven, end-to-end solutions that cater towards all stakeholders in a timely manner.

SAP has demonstrated its commitment to enabling Experience Management with the acquisition of Qualtrics, which not only provides businesses with feedback and analysis of consumers, but also of brand, products, and employees. Retailers and water utilities can assess rates, energy tariffs, and bundled offers, for example to capture customer satisfaction, product/offer perception, user experience, and so on.

Considering the complexity of these extensive data sets, utilities companies need a technology partner that can transform data into intelligence. Through the union of SAP and Qualtrics, utilities providers can leverage intelligent enterprise technology to analyse the complete customer experience, categorise this feedback, and turn those insights into actionable solutions.

With the increasing benefits of technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning, experience management can become an ever-evolving resource that grows and improves with all market participants across the industry value chain.  Aligning operational output with customer and community expectations has never been more timely as technology advances now do the heavy lifting, freeing up businesses to direct employees and other resources towards more value-adding tasks.

Not Just for The External Customers

Experience management can also be used internally to offer greater insights into employee engagement, development, and retention. Utility providers can quickly understand staff’s key areas of concern and develop data-driven solutions to encourage employee loyalty and continuous operational improvement.

The Energy Charter is all about providing metrics to show improved customer experiences. Through experience management, utility providers can gather these measurements and demonstrate real customer-centricity through automated processes. Insight-driven decisions based on experience combined with operational data can help Utilities deliver on the promise of the Energy Charter and achieve unprecedented business outcomes.

I would love to hear to hear your feedback. To find out more about how experience management can help utilities, feel free to contact me, or click here for more information on SAP’s customer experience management capabilities through Qualtrics.