The competitive energy market is undoubtedly changing, and competing in it takes strategy, from using the right customer information system (CIS) and self-service portal to navigating environmentally-friendly initiatives.
However, the competitive energy market provides numerous opportunities for energy providers and their customers. Smart meters, real-time energy monitoring, self-service portals, and other features can work together to seamlessly deliver energy to consumers.
Consumer expectations, shifts toward green energy use, and technological innovations are changing how utilities compete in the energy market. How can energy providers keep up? Here are some ways to win the competition in the energy market:
1. Identify Hidden Costs to Improve ROI
Customer information systems were once expected to perform a few tasks, but the increased demand for convenience has altered consumer expectations. Now, they demand the same experience across all digital experiences, from ordering meals to paying their utility bills.
Any CIS platform used by utilities must provide the comprehensive functionality today's utility customers demand, including an intuitive self-service portal, smart meters, insights into customer consumption levels, real-time communication between customers and field technicians, and more.
Asking the right questions can help utilities understand their customers better:
- What matters most to your customers? What are their goals?
- What are some common issues that your customers face?
- What operations can your utility automate without sacrificing important aspects of the customer experience?
An all-inclusive CIS like VertexOne’s can help lower overall complaints, reducing labor costs related to your call centers, walk-in facilities, and other customer touchpoints.
2. Provide Convenient Self-Service Options
At more than 72 million and growing, millennials have surpassed baby boomers as the largest demographic group in North America. These modern customers have high expectations for services, especially when it comes to technology and transparency.
The average utility customer wants to find relevant information, make updates to their online accounts, and explore different resolutions to issues before contacting their utility’s customer support team. A comprehensive customer self-service portal allows utility customers to carry out tasks independently, leading to a reduction in your support team’s workload and fewer incoming calls:
A mobile-friendly self-service portal should allow customers to:
- Create and update their utility profiles.
- View their current and past consumption.
- View their payment history and billing data.
- Pay their bills, schedule future payments, and set up auto-pay.
- Change existing payment arrangements.
- Interact with customer support representatives or automated chatbots.
- Access FAQs and a robust resource center.
- Sign up for notifications on any internet-connected device.
- Enroll in money-saving utility programs.
- Sign up for paperless billing.
3. Offer Empowering Choices
When it comes to competition in the energy market, leveraging the many advantages and unique features of “smart” technology matters.
Remote smart meter readings, real-time energy monitoring, and on-premise energy production connect the customer with their energy provider, improving the consumer experience.
This also provides opportunities for adaptable tariffs that can be changed with fluctuating market or grid needs. More connectivity across residences, businesses, communities, energy providers, and energy markets means better overall service and a more satisfying customer experience.
VertexOne’s EC Infosystems offers innovative technology that benefits utilities, such as smart metering, self-service portals, and AI capabilities. These features reduce incoming calls and customer complaints, saving utilities valuable time and resources.
Excel in the Competitive Energy Market
Modern integrations and customer expectations have redefined the role a CIS plays in the everyday operations of energy providers. To learn more about customer information systems, download our utility billing information guide now.