As we gaze upon a future where digital penetration is picking up an explosive pace, businesses in nearly every sector are forced to re-evaluate their priorities to sustain in the race. With consumers demanding highly dynamic services from brands, the role of customer experience becomes more critical than ever before. In fact, market size of over USD 27.13 billion is estimated to come up for customer experience management solutions worldwide by 2026.
If you thought that the need for a seamless customer experience was restricted to sectors like retail and finance alone, then you are deeply mistaken. The influence of superior customer experience in several industries has created a ripple effect in the demands by consumers to experience the same in every interaction they have with a business or service provider.
The tides of change are no different in the case of utility companies as well. Consumers are pulling the strings on utility providers if they fail to match the superior customer experience benchmarks set by businesses operating in retail, finance, and other consumer segments. Utility companies, however, have relatively been slow in adapting their customer experience metrics to the innovative levels demanded by today’s consumers. For a long time, they have relied on manual intensive and error-prone booking and billing mechanisms to serve customers. It has earned them a reputation for being constantly out of favor with customers and seeing periodic jumps from one provider to another citing unfavorable experiences.
There is a new wave of change that utility providers are bringing to their customer experience quotient by adding mobile solutions to their arsenal of customer engagement channels. Nearly every organization in the utility space today has a dedicated mobile app for both iOS and Android operating systems. This is a crucial indicator of why mobile solutions are important for utility companies in highly competitive market conditions.
Let us examine four major reasons why mobile solutions can help utility providers up their customer experience credentials:
Enable self-service on the go
With a dedicated mobile app on their favorite smartphone, consumers will now have the flexibility to pick services, leverage support, and request tailored information. All this can be done from their palms right on the dedicated consumer app. Earlier, consumers had to make physical office visits or call up support to figure out billing discrepancies or any other support needs. Such activities can transition into self-service mechanisms that consumers can access on their smartphones from anywhere. This is a huge advantage as it provides convenience for customers from not having to visit a store for getting their concerns heard. They can view or report real-time usage, pay bills, browse historic patterns of bills, and much more all from the comfort of their smartphones.
Intuitive customer engagement
Dedicated mobile solutions allow utility companies to harness data from different customer interactions and understand their preferences. By leveraging this insight, they can plan for better customer acquisition, engagement, and retention strategies. By bringing on board an array of innovative technologies like AI-enabled chatbots and machine learning-enabled predictive analytics, utility companies can always stay one step ahead of customers when it comes to fulfilling their expectations.
Faster customer support
Adding to the self-service option mentioned above, there is a rising need from consumers to have their fears allayed and concerns sorted out at the earliest through intuitive customer support. A smartphone app offers a direct communication channel for the customer with the technical support team or the relevant team which handles the end-to-end problem resolution management. With the aid of the mobile solution’s credentials such as location, it is possible for support teams to direct field service agents or associates to offer on-premises support at the fastest possible time. Utility providers can capture the location where service is needed easily and route the request to a field service agent that is closest in proximity to the customer. Speedy support can greatly influence the customer experience and will result in better loyalty from customers.
When customers are equipped with a mobile app, it allows marketers from utility companies to create and deploy more personalized marketing campaigns that are tailored to every user’s needs. For example, they can offer consumption-based discounts to users depending on their historic usage patterns, track referral and other incentivization schemes accurately for each user and drive more engaging conversations tailored to every customer or customer segment.
As we dive deeper into the digital economy, utility companies have to raise the bar in terms of customer experience if they are to remain an attractive choice for digital-savvy customers. Getting a spot on the devices that are now a part of every customer’s digital lifestyle is the most important step in this journey and this is why mobility solutions hold a major rank amongst candidates that bolster the customer experience for utility companies.