The one predictable thing about the energy industry is that it’s unpredictable. The industry has seen more change over the past decade than in the previous half century. Among the most prevalent energy trends are increased U.S. gas and oil production and affordability and practicality of renewables. Another trend that is not measured in barrels or BTUs, however, is utilities’ emerging focus on deeper customer relationships.
The idea that utility companies should expand their offerings beyond the core commodity isn’t a new one. For years, industry leaders have known that they must diversify to thrive. As state after state deregulates electricity, forcing utilities to compete with retail providers, and more efficient homes and emerging green technology flatten load growth, energy utilities have had to look within to design strategies to better connect with customers.
In order to understand how to improve and solidify customer relationships, it is helpful to view the various aspects as “pillars” of customer engagement. These include: technology, data, communications and partnership.
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