Posted to Utility 2030 Collaborative in the Customer Care Group
Vanessa Edmonds's picture
Founder & Advisor Appos Advisors & Utility 2030 Collaborative

Founder, Appos AdvisorsCo-founder & Executive Director, Utility 2030 Collaborative. From the impending, clean energy transition to customer experience modernization, regulated utility...

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  • Jul 6, 2021
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Utility participants of the Utility 2030 Collaborative’s focus group, “Strategies for Reducing Inbound Customer Calls to Zero by 2030”, has a crowdsourcing request. With the goal of redesigning processes and customer journeys from the viewpoint of digitally native customers, they're asking if you'll share examples of elevator pitches to convince any of the following stakeholders that zero calls is the best idea yet: 1) Internal leaders; 2) Internal teams; 3) Regulators; and 4) Utility customers". If you want to learn more about the group visit Focus Group: Strategies for Reducing Inbound Customer Calls to Zero by 2030 – UTILITY 2030. We're still accepting members.

Utility 2030 Collaborative
We are a community of business professionals building a blueprint for the digital customer-centric utility of the future by defining and creating content, frameworks, standards, and the people who will lead us forward.
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Utility customer strategy is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, utility executives are all making pronouncements about putting the customer at the center of all that they do. Yet at the same time there is a wide and deep movement to remove as much cost associated with engaging customers in any way, shape or form. One utility even has a “GTZ” initiative, or a Get To Zero initiative, the zero here being the number of incoming calls they want coming into their call center (as suggested in this exercise).

While I realize that both positions, being customer-centric and wanting/needing to eliminate as many customer-related costs as possible, are not necessarily mutually exclusive goals, they are inherently in conflict.

Having said this, I suggest that an elevator pitch might look like this:

  • Internal leaders: We are putting out customers at the center of all that we do. This is more than a catchphrase. It is a business imperative as the nature of the grid, and role and expectations of customers all radically change. Doing this in a way that is cost-effective means that we will leverage a digital approach at every opportunity. Nowhere will this be more apparent than in our customer engagement, where we will drive down customer engagement costs, especially in the call center, while providing a digital experience on a par wit the many other services they access and acquire via digital platforms.
  • Internal teams: How many of you engage digitally with almost all of the services and products you need to live? Ever wonder why this utility is not like that? Well, today that changes. We have invested in a digital CX platform that will enable our customers to experience faster response times for customers and increased satisfaction while also dropping our customer engagement expenses, enabling us to be more agile and responsive in an increasingly competitive energy marketplace.
  • Regulators: As customers increasingly engage in a digital lifestyle, their utility will meet them there. This will provide a 24/7, reliable connection to their utility while also enabling ABC Utility to reduce customer engagement costs. Leveraging our digital customer engagement platform, we will see faster response times for customers and improvements in customer satisfaction while also dropping our customer engagement expenses, enabling us to be more agile and responsive in an increasingly competitive energy marketplace.
  • Utility customers: We are your utility. Just as we have for xxx years we will continue to provide safe, reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity for our customers. What is changing now is how we engage with our most important asset: our customers. Leveraging innovations around energy delivery and customer engagement, we look forward to meeting you where you receive and acquire a multitude of other services, in the digital world. Get started on your digital customer experience with ABC Utility at abc.com.
Vanessa Edmonds's picture
Vanessa Edmonds on Jul 8, 2021

Very well written, Mike. One interesting perspective came up in the focus group related to Amazon. Most people love the Amazon experience, and yet most of us have never spoken with a live agent.... an exception for me would be when the order is wrong and I can't contact the seller. I've been ghosted by sellers and lost money.