The American Public Power Association puts on a number of top-notch conferences each year. For SpryPoint, one of our favorites is the annual Business and Financial conference. The mix of attendees from the Customer Service, IT and Finance side of public power utilities generates no shortage of interesting perspectives on the challenges and opportunities facing the industry.
Last month, I had the privilege of presenting at the APPA’s Business and Financial Conference in New Orleans. The focus of this presentation was on how utilities are engaging with their customers who are increasingly on the move, and at the same time increasingly ‘connected’ via mobile devices.
Utility customers are increasingly connected
Throughout the presentation we covered a variety of topics which included the evolution of mobile devices, growth in smart device adoption, and ways in which access to data can provide an opportunity to engage with your customers in new ways.
While the technology was a big component of the discussion, perhaps an even bigger factor were the ever-changing ways in which customers want to interact with their utility provider. For an increasing number of utility customers, there is a growing desire to play a more active role in their consumption of utility services.
Looking at mobility as the medium for communication between utilities and their customers
We’re now seeing an era of customers who are no longer content with the monthly utility bill as the only interaction with their utility provider. Customers want access to information on their consumption patterns, comparisons to customers like themselves, real-time updates on outages and the ability to digitally engage in a dialog with their utility.
So while mobile technology has opened the door for this evolution of customer demands, it’s much more than a technology story. What we see is that mobile – or mobility – is really a medium for communication and engagement between utilities and their customers. When you look at mobility as being much larger than just technology, it allows utilities to not only connect with your customers in new ways but also to be more proactive in everything from your collections processes, to efficiency programs and demand response.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll continue to highlight some of the use cases we see for utilities to leverage mobility and engage their customers in new and innovative ways.