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Top Takeaways from ‘Future of Utilities’ event


Last week’s ‘Future of Utilities’ conference in London brought together leaders and senior Utilities professionals to discuss the challenges, opportunities and the future of today’s fast-changing Utilities landscape.

In this blog post, Abtran Sales Director Brian O’Brien shares his top takeaways from this compelling event:

1. Focus on CX

Today’s Customers have significantly higher service expectations and they expect the same standard of excellence across all their providers, regardless of sector. This becomes a real threat to incumbents as ‘non-traditional’ players enter the Utilities space with a razor focus on CX. Ultimately, the winners will be highly-trusted organisations with an unwavering focus on customer-centricity and a keen understanding of the power of data to drive a personalised Customer Experience.

2. ‘Make it Easy’

When designing services, start from the Customer’s perspective. The digitally discerning Customer wants simplicity, savings and speed. Abtran’s brand promise ‘Make it Easy’ was a recurring theme throughout the event. How easy are you making it for your Customers to interact with your organisation?

3. It’s all about the Data

Personalisation was a recurring theme throughout the event programme. The importance of understanding a Customer’s individual requirements allows for contextualized CX. Effective use of data enables this. This is key as organisations seek to proactively engage and connect with their Customers on an emotional as well as commercial level.

4. Technology as an Enabler

Technology is an enabler of great Customer Experience. People, Process and Culture continue to have huge roles to play in the delivery of true CX transformation. The value created by a ‘smart’ device lies not in the device itself but in the benefit and convenience it provides to the Customer.

5. Changing Channel Needs

Customer needs haven’t changed. What has changed is the way Utilities need to address these needs. For example, 41% of millennials interact with their Energy supplier via social channels. This represents a fundamental shift for Energy companies and one which they need to respond to quickly.

5. ‘Human Touch’ remains critical

A.I., Automation, IoT and Blockchain could be seen as a ‘perfect storm’ of disruption across the Utilities landscape. The human touch will remain critical in delivering great Customer Experience with a focus on more complex, emotional interactions.

6. ‘Smart’ is just getting started

Smart Meters have the potential to revolutionise how Energy companies interact with their Customers. Gartner predicts that by 2022, the average home could have more than 500 connected devices. We are also seeing enormous projected growth in Electric Vehicle adoption with today’s (UK) figure of 90k set to reach 1.5m by 2020. These staggering growth rates present significant opportunities around the ‘connected home’.

7. The ‘Sticky’ Question

For all the talk around ‘Engagement’, there is a significant cohort of Customers who are not engaging with the market at all. This is evidenced by the fact that 9m UK households have been on a Big 6 standard variable tariff for 3+ years. How do we ‘un-stick the sticky Customers’?

8. Convergence Continues

We are seeing more and more convergence across product offerings and the aggregation of home services. Trust, engendered by a great Customer Experience is going to be a key driver of this and will ultimately dictate who the winners are.

9. Be Compliant

Cybersecurity is a top priority and Board-level issue for all Utilities.

About Abtran in Utilities

Abtran designs and delivers end-to-end Customer and Business Process Management services which are flexible, scalable, compliant and deliver a great service experience to our clients’ customers. A trusted provider of services to Utilities clients for over 15 years, our deep sector experience spans both established as well as new and emerging market players.

At Abtran, we help our clients to stand out on service, to grow market share and to scale for success in a flexible and compliant way.

Click here to find out more about how we can help your Utilities organisation to stand out on service or email to connect with an Abtran Utilities specialist.

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