According to McKinsey & Company research, what sets utility leaders apart from their peers is “a focus on optimizing customer journeys and satisfaction drivers that matter most.”
Now ask yourself if effective customer experience, what we also refer to as customer engagement management, is a core competency of your company (this goes for businesses in any industry, not just utilities). The answer is likely no, and here are a few reasons why.
First, data about each customer is usually quite limited in the utilities sector. Second, customer engagement is typically centered around a specific transaction, and not around the customer lifecycle. Third, many companies still haven’t undergone digital transformation even though the McKinsey & Company research shows that, between 2018 and 2020, utilities that “maintained or improved digital satisfaction saw overall customer satisfaction rise by an average of 2 percent, whereas utilities that experienced a decline in customers’ digital satisfaction saw overall customer satisfaction decline by an average of 1 percent.” So while 79% of utility brands think they are customer-centric, only 7% of customers feel the same.
If customer engagement management is not something you’re set up for from an infrastructure, data, or talent perspective, it makes sense to find a partner who can help you achieve it. By outsourcing what you’re not as skilled at and focusing on what you are, you’ll be setting yourself up for greater business growth and customer loyalty.
Finding a partner who does customer engagement management right
We know it’s hard to give up control. But the fact is that outsourcing certain areas of your business can help you maintain a competitive advantage, keep operational costs low and boost revenue. Partners contribute 23% of overall company revenue on average, according to a June 2019 Forrester survey. Here are some of the characteristics to look for in your customer engagement management partner.
- Data-driven processes: Customer engagement management thrives on data. Companies need a full picture of their customers to understand their communication preferences and how they like to receive billing statements and pay their bills. Rather than spending more of your precious marketing budget, the right partner can help allocate your existing dollars more efficiently by analyzing, modeling and qualifying your incoming data so you understand how to attract the right consumers, create loyal customers, and achieve a better customer experience.
- Depth and breadth of channels: Your customers are using a variety of channels in their day-to-day lives, from print and phone to SMS and social media. The right customer engagement management partner will have experience and capabilities across both offline and online channels so you can choose the best mix. As we said earlier, a solid customer journey is what can help set you apart from your competition.
- Centralized technology: Single-platform, integrated SaaS systems enable seamless interaction across website, SMS, email and mobile web. With centralized technology that houses all of your data, you can deliver personalized messages to your customers based on their individual behaviors and profile settings—all using automation.
- The ability to customize: Every company’s approach to awareness, recognition, acquisition, generation, re-engagement and loyalty will look different. That’s why you don’t want off-the-shelf technology from a customer engagement management partner—you want customization. This is made easier if the customer engagement platform you use is a low-code system that is quick to implement without the need for outside technical sources.