When it comes to customer service, few industries face the challenges that the utilities industry experiences during and after major storms.
Utilities are under pressure from aging infrastructures, regulatory control over pricing and deregulated markets. Throw in extreme weather events like hurricanes and the business conditions are difficult indeed.
No company, no matter how prepared, can be instantly responsive during every emergency. For disasters of the scope of Hurricane Sandy, recovery can take a long time. Yet those events can be defining moments for ongoing customer perception.
Communication and personalization are critical
Having a strong focus on the customer experience can help utilities survive the storm and maintain customer relationships.
New research from JD Power into North American electric utility companies shows that having open lines of communications is critical to customer satisfaction during power outages and emergencies. The research indicates that customers who receive proactive communications during outages are more satisfied with power quality and reliability.
Text messages proved to be remarkably popular. It makes sense; text messages combine personalization (delivering relevant information directly to a subscriber’s phone) with timeliness.
Finding ways to personalize customer service in utilities
We’ll be exploring many of the ways that utility companies can personalize the customer experience at the upcoming G-Force conference in Vienna, June 11-13.
Many of the break-out sessions will be applicable to the challenges faced by utilities, including:
Designing an Empathic Customer Experience
Unifying the Back and Front Office to Create the New Customer Office
Managing the Customer Experience across Multiple Channels and Devices
One of the featured speakers is Arnoud Kortes from the Swedish power company Vattenfall. He will share his experiences creating and optimizing a unified multi-channel customer experience for customers in multiple countries in northern Europe.
And on June 13, the Industry Summits will include a session dedicated to the utilities industry, where people involved in the utilities industry can gather with peers, share their experiences and discuss solutions to specific challenges.
Register today for G-Force Vienna
If you’re interested in the power of personalized customer service in your own business, sign up for G-Force Vienna today. And if you need a few reasons to justify your trip, see our Justification Tips blog.