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grid modernisation
Smart Energy  
12 January 2017

SGCC evaluates how grid modernisation impacts customer perceptions

The Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative released its latest report which looks at how grid modernisation has impacted consumers' attitudes toward their energy provider.

More specifically, the report titled Customer Experience and Expectations, seeks to understand how grid modernisation and experiences with a broad range of service providers have impacted consumers' attitudes toward their energy provider.

According to a release, the research was conducted as an online survey of 2,000 respondents across the US, and findings were analysed in total and across five key consumer segments, three energy user profiles and four categories of technology use.

It adds that the study probed customers on six key touchpoints with their energy provider, like starting a new service or remediating a problem, and uncovered customer preferences and expectations on each of these interactions. Customer perceptions of best-in-class service providers for these interactions were also explored. [Utilities, simplicity is key to engage customers, says new SGCC report]

5 stages in the customer lifecycle

The findings from this research are framed through five stages of the customer lifecycle – investigate, initiate, remediate, innovate and cultivate, and the report provides valuable insights for each stage to provide stakeholders with ideas to improve customer engagement.

The SGCC explains that by comparing the performance of utilities with that of organisations in other industries (banks, online retailers, etc.), the research highlights where utilities do well and where they can improve. [The new energy future? We can agree to disagree]

Key findings of the report include:

  • While the type of contact consumers favour differs across services, consumers still prefer some sort of personal engagement.
  • Before adopting a product or service, consumers evaluate the benefits of the offering and determine whether the gain is worth any required trade-off.
  • Over half of consumers believe that no organisation excels at providing them with personalised offers and suggestions.
  • Nearly one-third believe that no organisation performs well in problem resolution and innovation.
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