Navigant Research forecasts global utility spending on customer engagement to reach $774 million by 2022.Findings by the research firm state that global utilities will invest $636 million toward customer engagement technologies by the end of 2016.
In a press statement, Navigant Research said utilities will increase their investments in upgrading their web portals with energy saving tools and customer centric data in a bid to improve customer engagement in programmes including energy efficiency and demand response.
Global utilities are expected to continue adopting mobile applications which allow customers to pay their bills online.
The use of social media platforms such as twitter and Facebook in improving utilities communication with customers on real-time grid status is also expected to rise.
Increasing competition within the communications sector and the emergence of new customer experience measures is expected to provide utilities with new innovative ways to improve their communication with customers thereby motivating the power companies to increase their investments in the sector.
Paige Leuschner, research analyst at Navigant Research, commented: “Customer engagement used to entail sending a monthly energy bill, dealing with high bill complaints, and finding resolutions for customers experiencing power outages.
“Customers are now more proactive and expect more insight into energy usage.”
Utility customer engagement
In mid-August, US power utility CenterPoint Energy scored the highest in Texas among electric transmission and distribution service providers (TDSPs) on residential customer engagement.
This is according to the Texas TDSP Trusted Brand and Customer Engagement study, a Cogent Reports study by Market Strategies International.
The utility firm scored score of 721 on a 1,000-point scale.
The study was conducted in the second half of 2015 and the first part of 2016 among 820 electric service customers residing in Texas in six deregulated electric service territories. [E.ON UK awarded for customer engagement with ‘Saving Energy Toolkit’].
The utility customer engagement was rated based upon an Engaged Customer Relationship index comprising three components - operational satisfaction, brand trust and product experience.