Utilities are at the earliest stages of making the internal changes necessary to provide better customer experience. But is the response efficient enough to sustain — and fast enough to gain the necessary benefits in time?

Challenges to internal structure

Historically, natural monopolies obviated much concern about utility-customer experience. That legacy structure is now a hindrance. A recent article by GTM Research describes, “Institutional barriers for [the] utility IT adoption,” necessary for customer experience to improve.

Most utilities deal with operational silos and lack the IT expertise to provide an excellent customer experience now. It requires a high degree of interdepartmental coordination and sophisticated IT and software development. And this is an area where utilities are striving to catch up.

Utilities are not alone in this need to adapt though. Customer experience poses the same challenges internal structure for any organization. An eConsultancy survey of 650 businesses found that:

          41% of respondents state that organizational structure is a significant barrier — in other words operational silos inhibit cross-department coordination

          38% of respondents state that one of the three biggest problems is the complexity of customer experience, given the growing number of touch points (mobile, phone, retail outlets, email, etc).

          34% state the difficulty of unifying different sources of customer data…

Many utilities are not even measuring customer experience KPIs

Many utilities report that they are in the earliest stages of responding, and that they still need to create the necessary KPIs. According to the GTM Research article, utilities still need to prioritize customer experience measurement. “Utilities… [self-]reported below-average performance on creating and executing [these] key performance indicators (KPIs)….” Though, “Some have implemented this ubiquitous management tool within customer-facing parts of the utility business,” respondents reported that, “they have [not] yet… adopted [these KPIs] for the rest of the organization.”

That lack of organization-wide attention to CX is a problem. “This disconnect between utility departments is hampering efforts to build support for customer engagement efforts outside their traditional silos….” Utilities need to communicate and coordinate across functions, disciplines and departments to create an effective customer experience.

Unified, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Solutions

SaaS solutions allow utilities to bypass the expenses associated with IT talent acquisition. Without SaaS solutions, utilities would have to develop, maintain and support complex customer engagement software.

Many utilities already plan to find SaaS solutions. “US utilities are expected to spend $16 billion over the next four years on platform-as-a-service ecosystems, large back-office IT systems and IoT devices such as utility-owned AMI, sensors and customer-owned equipment and smart home devices,” GTM Research found.

Holistic, software ecosystem thinking is part of a larger trend in government and organization tech initiatives. Governments, businesses and other organizations have started shifting to a more holistic technological strategy ensuring that all areas work together.


— Credit: Deloitte. "A government perspective: Tech Trends 2018 — The symphonic enterprise."


Brilliency provides real-time customer data

Brilliency is a SaaS solution that integrates your utility's existing internal expertise and technology. We deliver you a portal that integrates consumer data across departments in one place and gives your customers an intuitive, fun, engaging, customer experience.

Because our connection to customer data is department-independent, and because we can provide analytics and metrics on default (and custom) KPIs, we facilitate holistic, comprehensive, cross-functional, interdepartmental communication and initiatives.

See what your new utility customer experience could look like today. 

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