With the advancements in technology in utility, telecom and retail industries, companies are starting to pay even more attention to customers, their demands and the relationships they have with them. Today we present how customer needs and satisfaction are evolving to transform businesses and their services for good.
Trend 3: Building Customer Communities
In order to be sustainable in their respective sector, at present enterprises are obliged to modify their approach in such way as to respond to new client expectations and to offer qualitative and value-added customer services. Because the next generation consumers are much more technically-driven and aware of the worth of the purchases they make from different companies: they won’t lower their standards or settle for mediocre customer experiences.
The usage of digital platforms and IoT, such as online customer self-service portals & chatbots, user-friendly mobile applications and integrated data analytics tools, have become very important in driving brand growth and outstanding customer experience, engagement and client satisfaction. Information access and new digital opportunities, arising with the increasing importance of mobile devices in our everyday life, are forcing redesigning of sales and marketing strategies to answer to even the most specific client demands.
“The importance of personalized experiences and offers is driving storage and analysis of huge amounts of data. It’s helping businesses understand their customers’ behavior and preferences better.”
To remain loyal to a brand, innovation-driven consumers are now demanding real-time quick communications tools, highly personalized offerings, simplified and quick payment methods and enhanced control over their costs of used and preferred services. This has been especially valid for retailers and telecoms for some time now, but it’s currently becoming a reality for utilities as well. Energy mix and supply can now be tailor-made to consumption needs, renewables aspirations and also self-managed and monitored real-time by consumers themselves.
The importance of personalized experiences and offers is driving storage and analysis of huge amounts of data. It’s helping businesses like retailers understand their customers’ behavior and preferences better, in order to apply this information in coherent sales and marketing strategies with an omnichannel approach. The ultimate goal is interacting with target audiences effectively and timely, to create a brand environment, suitable for nurturing different kinds of customer communities.
Out of all three, utility industry is the one evolving with much slower paces, which only recently is starting to catch up on new trends and technologies as disruptive players have entered the market. In order to be successful utilities have started to understand that they need to commence working more on retaining valuable relationships with their energy consumers that correspond to the interests of both parties. Providing premium value on customer service and customer experience such as utility consumption consultancy, energy efficiency upgrades for households and gas, electricity and water supply based on personal needs and preferences are key to their survival in this competitive market environment. In their quest to meet convenience demands, drive performance and customer loyalty, utilities are adding different home services to their product portfolio, to bundle with their existing offerings. With the help of more services and customer-centric solutions, utilities can focus on more profound client interactions, build long-lasting relationships and eventually raise the levels of consumer trust.
One of the aspects of utility disruption trends is the technological revolution related to intelligent homes and household efficiency. In the near future nearly all home appliances will be smart and connected to the internet, thus enabling energy optimization by remote and automatic control and monitoring of consumption. Environmentally conscious consumers are now not only oriented towards renewable energy, but are also going even further in their innovative thinking by exploring rooftop photovoltaic panels, solar panels and other ways that can turn them into communities of independent prosumers in the grid. These flexible solutions, some of which are stimulated with national financial incentives and programs, give customers not just freedom, but also lower costs, more buying choices, higher convenience and efficiency.