5 Ways Utility Providers Can Enhance CCM in 2021
The expectations of utility customers changed rapidly in 2020, both in terms of service continuity and communication during the crisis. Those expectations will continue to evolve in 2021.
Which bears the question - what actions should utility providers take to address these new customer communications management (CCM) requirements?
Here are 5 ways providers can step up and succeed with utility customer communications in 2021:
1. Find CCM partners who know this space and can bolster communication strategies:
To make the fastest impact, find partner organizations that specialize in customer communication management, and leverage their expertise and solutions to communicate optimally with your customers.
Customer data can be hard to understand and keep accurate, so make sure you have the right team assembled for the job.
2. Highlight cross-channel communication opportunities:
Whether your organization will tackle these new communication channels alone or bring on expert CCM help, it is important to recognize that optimizing just one or two engagement channels is still likely to leave the bulk of your customers unsatisfied.
Instead, find a way to meet your customers where they are (or want to be) via a multi-pronged communication approach across print and digital channels.
3. Identify and maximize the benefits of new digital technologies:
As a utility leader, you must remember that implementing modern technologies and tools is only half the battle. The other half is assisting customers to use them optimally.
Identify how the digital tools you create can benefit not just your utility organization, but also the customer and highlight those benefits when talking to customers.
4. Keep data security a top priority at the utility and with your communication partner:
The quickest way to lose a customer’s trust is to be careless with their sensitive, personal data. Make sure data security is a top priority in any decision or consideration, including the choice of CCM partner.
Finding the right communication partner who works with industry best practices in data security will be imperative as a first step.
5. Eliminate friction in the customer journey:
Even in 2021 and beyond, the customer remains king, and that also rings true in the utility industry. Your goal when designing the utility customer experience should be to remove friction from processes and communications, including receiving and paying bills. This may require a redesign of your bill to make it easier for customers to understand, and to ensure it is easily consumed by people with disabilities.
The key to this step is asking customers what they need, what their frustrations are, and how you can best adjust your communications.
It’s understandable that utilities have a lot on their plates, with all the various aspects of service generation, delivery, and customer service needs, but utility providers do not need to tackle these hurdles alone, especially when it comes to customer communication.
Doxim’s CCM platform and communication experts can help you succeed with utility customer communications in 2021.
Matt Chester is an energy analyst in Orlando FL, by way of Washington DC. He studied engineering and science & technology policy at the University of Virginia before diving into the world of federal energy policy.
Today he runs Chester Energy and Policy LLC and publishes his blog at ChesterEnergyandPolicy.com in which he shares news, insights, and advice in the fields of energy policy and energy technology. You can also see Matt’s work on energycentral.com where he serves as a Community Manage with a utility industry focus.
Matt is writing a series of guest blogs for Doxim, focusing on paperless billing and digital communication in utilities.
For daily quick hits on energy and utility topics, you can follow him on Twitter at @ChesterEnergy.