Do utilities love customers enough to spend?
Monday, September 23, 2013
In the quest to offer better customer service and improved customer-facing services, utilities big and small are rushing to replace vastly outdated customer information systems (CIS) and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms.
Although the process to upgrade these systems represents a daunting task for most utilities, recent research indicates that more than three-quarters are making upgrades. Forty-percent of utilities plan to add major new functionality to their existing CIS/CRM platforms, while another 37 percent plan to replace their entire systems.
The research conducted by Marlborough, Mass.-based Bridge Energy Group reveals that most utilities recognize the need to provide customers with greater options when it comes to communicating about outages, rate changes and billing issues. However, the study says that only 9 percent of utilities have a complete and integrated view of each customer in order to deliver on those customer expectations.
“Successfully engaging utility customers will require a well thought out strategy and the right technical foundation to support this transformation well into the future,” said Colum Lundt, founder of Bridge Energy Group.