Energy Transition and Customer Experience | HCLTech

Energy Transition and Customer Experience

 
December 15, 2022
Amol Jain

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Amol Jain
Senior Director - Customer Experience
December 15, 2022
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The global energy sector is witnessing a paradigm shift in terms of how energy production, distribution, and consumption is happening but how technology, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors, and customer experience play an important role in it. Apart from generating mass-energy from renewable sources, the implementation of energy storage systems, electrical transportation infrastructure, and how users interact with utilities coupled with disruptive technologies that are energy efficient and affordable is also a major part of the energy transition.

In addition, with changing energy infrastructure, utility companies are becoming more decentralized, thereby facilitating microgrids, sustainable energy, and the ability for consumers to produce and manage their own energy. This leads to increased demand for two-way communication between the consumer and energy providers. Moreover, changing landscape and rising demand from consumers, energy and service providers are looking forward to providing digital and more flexible services and experiences to their users.

The total market share of renewable energy is anticipated to reach 44% in power, 38% in buildings, 26% in industries, and 17% in transportation by 2030, according to IRENA's Remap 2030 report. The renewable energy market is anticipated to undergo a significant transition soon, opening up exciting possibilities as consumers, legislators, and regulators work together and implement technical solutions.

With

Customer Experience in Energy Transition

Customer experience in the energy transition can be defined as the sum of all interactions between the customer and the company, including how they're treated, what value is provided to them, how easy it is for them to communicate with utilities, etc. Now, with rising online experiences that consumers are getting accustomed to in other industries like shopping, retail, travel, and media are creating a new standard and raising the expectations for fundamental components of utility operations like metering, billing, payment, outages, charging, etc.

Consumers across the globe are considering adopting self-generation renewable solutions and some of them are also considering buying an electric vehicle. Thus, with this growing adoption of energy solutions and products among consumers, demand for end-to-end integrated solutions and experience is expected to rise and become the major element when considering energy providers. Thus, considering this trend in the market, many large utilities are assuming that most of their customers will turn towards small players offering more interactive and innovative solutions to their customers.

Additionally, this creates new options for customer service, added value, and new revenue streams when paired with advancements in building [AJ2] automation, device automation, and energy management.

New expectations and possibilities are combined with shifting the broader strategic context and the customer context in which power utility companies operate. These are coming from several different directions for providing a better customer experience. Regulatory expectations are changing – with far-reaching energy transformation policies in some countries and significant momentum gathering in others.
Changing business models that are more customer-centric and reliant on customer interactivity to enhance customer experience. Also, as the immediacy, simplicity, and control of widespread online digital retailing become the norm, customer expectations are evolving. And the technological advancement that is reshaping people's power decisions and how the energy system can be managed supports all these developments.

The Importance of Customer Experience

power technology industry. Losing clients in markets where competition allowed them to select power from several companies presented the biggest issue in the past. Difficulty will arise in the future from customers needing less traditional utility providers for their power, regardless of competition. Only large industrial customers were likely to create their energy solutions in the past. The ability is now being made available to a lot more customers.
With this in mind, you might ask yourself: how can I give my customers a positive experience? What should I do to ensure they have an exceptional experience using my product or service?
The answer lies in understanding your customer's needs and expectations of your business. You need to understand what makes them happy so that you know how best to satisfy them on an ongoing basis—and ensure that satisfaction doesn't fall by the wayside once their initial needs are met (or even if they're satisfied).
Utility companies must intervene to facilitate the conversation on the customer's preferred channel, whether through actual person-to-person connection or social media platforms, email updates, and/or the corporate website, regardless of the exact consumer requirement. Utility companies can offer best-in-class customer service with a customer-centric objective, resulting in long-term energy use that is cheaper and more sustainable.Developments in storage and self-generation are eroding the growth and revenues of the

A Window of Opportunity

The need to strengthen customer experience in the energy transition is becoming more urgent as a result of changing business models, energy options, and the possibility of new rivals entering the market. The biggest opportunity for energy providers to enhance the customer experience is to focus on the 5Ps:

  • The purpose is the cornerstone of the new client relationship. Customers need to feel inspired and engaged by energy providers. Energy providers can initiate talks about customers' demands if they have a strong brand purpose and narrative.
  • Product development or new product features: Energy providers can assist clients in reducing their energy consumption by providing them with more energy-efficient appliances for their homes.
  • New platforms, driven by the cloud, will enable them to combine consumer data from different organizations, understand the customers' needs, and increase their usage of AI and machine learning to produce useful practical insights.
  • People: Energy providers must ensure that their employee experiences draw in and keep employees with crucial capabilities in fields like AI, data science, and customer experience.
  • Through partnerships, energy suppliers can concentrate on the strategic requirement to forge strong positions in emerging areas, such as the market for electric vehicles (EVs).

Incorporating attractive energy commodities, solar and storage, energy management, flexibility services, and mobility solutions can all assist to boost customer experience, customer stickiness, customer loyalty, and price tolerance.

Acquisitions and investments in internal innovation can supplement them. Incorporating attractive energy commodities, solar and storage, energy management, flexibility services, and mobility solutions can boost customer experience, customer stickiness, loyalty, and price tolerance. 'Behind-the-meter' and 'community-based offers' can also help. Energy retailers are in a great position to provide customers with a new connected energy experience and turn into energy service firms as a result of these trends. Large commercial and industrial customers seek improved energy control and communication technologies. Additionally, the advancement of 'beyond-the-meter' technology and the 'internet of things has reinforced and accentuated this everywhere. Power utilities must successfully change customers' attitudes in this new context if they are to be perceived as active partners, developers of services and solutions, and not just as suppliers of generic energy.

In response to shifting demand patterns made possible by energy management, distributed generation, and EVs, new services will also be needed. As technology advances and governments enact stricter environmental rules, automakers are increasingly manufacturing electric vehicles worldwide. Utilities are in a good position to act as trusted middlemen for their customers, educating them about the support programs and financing options available, guiding them in making the right decisions, and introducing them to the appropriate energy-efficiency and renewable solution providers.

Utilities are being forced to reevaluate their business strategies, goods, and services due to shifting consumer tastes and the transition to more sustainable energy sources.

Decentralization, decarbonization, and digitization also call for a more thoughtful and creative consumer inclusion strategy. A decentralized energy system decreases the need for fossil fuels, improves eco-efficiency, and enables the best possible use of renewable energy sources and combined heat and power. Digitally savvy prosumers, both energy consumers and producers, will want better utility cooperation, convenience, and choice as they adopt renewable energy technologies.

Besides the abovementioned factors, utilities must use user-friendly digital solutions to improve customer experience, including remote predictive maintenance, peer-to-peer trade, and smart home automation. These consist of:

  • Internet of Things (IoT): IoT-enabled products like smart grids, energy efficiency management, smart meters, etc., are essential in luring customers to participate in the energy value chain.
  • Internet of Things (IoT): IoT-enabled products like smart grids, energy efficiency management, smart meters, etc., are essential in luring customers to participate in the energy value chain.
  • Internet of Things (IoT): IoT-enabled products like smart grids, energy efficiency management, smart meters, etc., are essential in luring customers to participate in the energy value chain.
  • Digitalization will probably be crucial to overcoming the obstacles to incorporating renewable energy. Information and communications technologies can make a more adaptable and effective electricity system possible, including big data, blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), smart grids, demand response, and virtual power plants.
  • In terms of the energy transition, prosumers are the smallest but most forward-thinking of the three groups. Many people have financial investments in modern energy technologies, including solar PV, heat pumps, and EV charging points. However, this isn't always the case if they live in public housing or move into a house that already has these features installed.
  • According to a report by EY, a new category of customer known as the "omnisumer" is now playing a key role in the energy transition. The data reveals a developing "many-to-many" omnisumer with a wide range of energy interactions, providers, goods, and channels that each build their overlapping ecosystem.
  • Sustainability alone won't help new energy goods and services attain widespread popularity. Energy suppliers will also need to consider each customer's unique buyer values associated with economic, environmental, and convenience results.
  • Consumer adoption of digital technology has reached a new high point. When using digital channels, customers report being more satisfied overall and finding them simpler to use than non-digital channels.
  • Green Expectations: Energy providers must take several steps to show their dedication to sustainability. These include introducing new energy goods and services (52%), supporting regional sustainability initiatives (50%), providing green energy solutions (50%), and running a green fleet (27%).

Conclusion

The way we use and manage energy is rapidly changing, from grid modernization to numerous environmental initiatives. It will be crucial for utility owners to seek to make their interactions with customers a two-way conversation as energy flows in two directions more frequently. This can be done by creating channels for customers to interact with and receive information about how to best fulfill their evolving energy needs. Transparency and knowledge are the keys to the future of energy. Utility firms must encourage customer dialogue about changing demands if they want to become regarded as reliable energy consultants. As we have seen, energy is a significant concern for companies across the globe. For those that don’t already have a customer experience strategy in place, it is crucial to create one as soon as possible. Customers are demanding more sustainable solutions from their energy providers and taking on more active roles as both consumers and producers of energy. The sooner you can take advantage of opportunities like these, and the more likely your company will be able to survive and thrive in today’s volatile market environment. Get to know HCLTech solutions that help E&U Customers improve customer experience.

Key Words

  • Green Energy
  • CX
  • IntelliService – Conversational AI
  • Digital Experience
  • Multi experience
  • UCX Self-Service / Utility Self Service
  • AMI

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