Note to Utilities: 4 Must-Do’s for the New Energy Era
We’re wrapping up our look at “Understanding Consumer Preferences in Energy Efficiency” (http://bit.ly/9zMTSh), an essential survey of responses to smart metering programs. A new, more active energy consumer is emerging – one with the potential to fundamentally reshape the relationship we’ve traditionally had with utilities and electricity providers.
1. Educate: Providers will need to actively promote education programs to better educate consumers. We’ve already noted the contradiction between consumer perceptions and their actual knowledge of energy efficiency.
2. Earn Trust: Consumers instinctively want to turn to their providers for energy-efficiency activities, but providers still need to build trust and credibility. They can do this by being more transparent about their activities and agendas.
3. Offer Choice: Providers must offer consumers more ways to interact for advice and service, such as new in-home, web, mobile and face-to-face channels. They must couple that with new, personalized, differentiated service capabilities not traditionally present in their organizations.
4. Be Consumer-centric: The old model of standardized, one-size-fits-all service must give way. Smart technologies demand a significant amount of customer participation, and that’s causing a fundamental shift in consumer expectations.
Electricity providers who embrace this consumer-oriented mindset will prosper in the new energy era far more than those who maintain the status quo.
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