In Times of Dramatic Change, Utilities Cannot Afford to Ignore the Customer

“The power and utility sector is transforming — and the customer is right at the center of these changes,” writes Paul Micallef, a consultant at EY. “As companies juggle mounting infrastructure investment needs, increasing regulatory pressure and rising energy prices, the relationship with the customer is key to addressing these challenges and positioning companies for future success.” [1]

If the relationship with the customer is critical, then it can’t be good that our research has found that many utility customers feel that their electrical and gas providers don’t care about them or even understand them. We know that changing this perception is critical to success.

“Customer centricity is driving the agenda of the highest-performing utilities around the globe. These high performing utilities know that putting the customer first is critical to their success in meeting current industry challenges.” [2]

If customer centricity is driving success, it is critical to understand how people feel about utilities. We asked over 2,500 people across North America “which of the following organizations do you feel care about you?” And “which…do you feel understands your needs?” We also asked if each of these organizations “are important to you?”

We found that many people felt their electrical and gas utilities were important to them, but that the utility did not care about them or understood them. We calculated the gap, revealing the percentage of people who felt the organization was important, but did not care about them, or feel the organization understands them. These gaps are large, and concerning.

These findings show how imperative it is that utilities become much more customer centric, if they wish to excel.

As Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, once said, “everything revolves around the customer”. Let’s close that gap and start becoming more customer centric today.

[1]Creating a customer-centric utility to drive value and profit


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