As the demographics of the typical utility customer change, utilities need to prepare for the shift toward tech-savvy bill-payers by paying attention to mobile and marketing trends.
An estimated 95 percent of utility customers are expected to have grown up using digital technology or will be technologically savvy by 2020, according to FierceEnergy, citing a study by PwC U.S. Operations Power and Utilities. Currently, 21 percent of a utility’s online site visitors are viewing from their mobile device.
Mobile Technology Use Is Growing Among Utility Customers
Your customers are increasingly comfortable with mobile and Internet-connected devices, and as such, you may want to consider shifting your business model and operations to reflect this technology-driven world.
You could consider which solutions you may want to employ in order to interact with customers effectively. These may include offering more mobile or cloud-based services to fit your customers’ increasingly wireless lifestyles and communicate with them on their devices.
For example, utilities may consider extending customers’ digital bill payment options and methods to allow them to pay their bills on the go. Customers may demand websites or mobile apps that will provide them with more information about their energy consumption or let them connect with a customer representative.
While more than 70 percent of consumers already choose to contact companies via their websites rather than by phone, this number is projected to grow as digital or mobile options become more popular, according to PwC. When transitioning to mobile-friendly sites and apps, you may have to try to simplify your processes for navigating information or payment options.
Using Social Media and Other Technologies
Your customers may also choose to connect with you via social media sites. Utilities may want to consider building a social presence to better communicate and interact with their consumers. Utilities are likely to receive direct feedback from customers on social sites to let them know their opinions about the companies’ services, which could benefit your business by crafting a better customer experience.
Among other communication, popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter present opportunities for utilities to provide updates on power outages and other business continuity information.
As technology use among your customer base grows, you may want to consider these trends in your utility’s strategic plans for future stability and relevancy in the eyes of your customers.