Smart Grid 2.0 Requires Utilities to Improve Customer Engagement

Electricity is all around us and we rely on it daily, but many consumers take it for granted until their service is interrupted by a power failure.  In the digital age, electricity is absolutely essential for a vibrant economy and for a high quality of life.  As utilities seek to update the smart grid to meet the demands of our digital economy there is an increased need for utility companies to improve customer engagement.  Getting customers more engaged with their electricity usage can be a challenge, but some companies are finding success.  A new report from Smart Grid Consumer Communications highlights four utility companies that are successfully engaging their customers.

The SGCC report focuses on the efforts of CenterPoint Energy, Oklahoma Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison.  These companies were chosen for success in improving customer engagement across their entire service area, not just for showing results in a small pilot program. SGCC also required the profiled companies to provide customer testimonials and data that proved the effectiveness of their programs.

The report found seven core components essential to successful utilities customer engagement.  Several of these core factors revolve around customer communication.  Utilities who improved their customer engagement were proactive in communicating with their customers.  They actively sought to educate consumers before rolling out changes such as smart meters, attempted to answer questions before customers had a chance to ask them, and prioritized developing community engagement.  The profiled companies also sought to improve customer experiences by creating user-friendly web portals that are both informative and fun to use and by providing user-friendly tools such as programmable thermostats.  Encouragingly, the report shows that adopting this set of best practices can dramatically improve customer engagement.

USAN helps companies communicate, engage, and improve customer interactions.  Our customer engagement platform provides everything companies need to launch an effective multi-channel customer engagement strategy. Contact us to learn more.