Many of the conversations at Customer2030 were not only around engaging customers, but also creating real value so that customers want to engage more often and longer. Here are a few additional takeaways from the first day of Customer2030.
Smart speaker growth is real
By 2021, there will be a 3X increase in smart devices in homes. And those who already have smart devices will have up to 5.5 devices in their home. That’s going to be a lot of smart speakers! “The smart device growth is inevitable, so the question is how do energy providers get in the game?” asks Jamie Staples of Google.
Keep tabs on your customers
Ryan Braas from SMUD described his process around building a Marketplace after listening to SMUD’s customers. He said, “Our Marketplace evolved around what our customers wanted. They are the ones that built it.” His advice? “Keep tabs on your customers and make sure the customers are driving the decisions you are making.”
We are all part of shaping transformation
Gene Rodrigues from ICF notes that, “Transformation isn’t something that comes into a box and has corners and edges.” Rather, transformation is something that is shaped by everyone–including your customers. And transforming the customer experience in particular is challenging. He points out that, “It’s easy to send a bill, it is easy (but expensive) to build a website, but real customer engagement where you animate customers is hard.”
Fixing a broken system
Jim Lazar from the Regulatory Assistance Project talked about the need to do big things, “We have to have courageous goals and then build a regulatory framework to meet these that favors achievement instead of investment.” According to Accenture, customers only spend 9 minutes a year interacting with their energy provider. But, according to Lazar, “9 minutes with your utility may be enough, especially if it is broken up to 540 seconds and we can make every second count.”
Energy efficiency is the foundation
Rachel Gold from ACEEE remarked that, “Electrification, solar, and batteries are sexy, but energy efficiency is core to industry transformation,” and that “50-80% of climate goals could be met with energy efficiency.”
Creating value gets your customers to take notice
And finally, according to Camilo Serna of DTE Energy, utilities will still continue to invest in poles, wires, and power plants, but if utilities deliver more value to the customer, “customers will want to spend more time with you.” But it doesn’t start at the utility or even with executives. Serna continues, “If we want utilities to become more innovative, we need to align business models with that. It doesn’t start in C-suite, but in the regulatory offices.”