March 31, 2015

Offer What Your Customers Want - The Energy Industry’s Perspective

Carl Lidholm

Head of Strategy and New Business, Energy Utilities, Tieto

In the modern world, companies have to be present across multiple channels to serve their customers. This means being accessible on social media, websites, chatrooms, and mobile devices. This is necessary for all industries, including energy.

Your customer data needs to be smart and personalised. If a customer has a conversation with you on Facebook, they'll expect you to remember it if they call you. They'll expect you to not only have all of the information that the consumer can access by themselves, but they will also expect you to be able to provide them with insights and analysis based on that information.

Here are three different potential angles for you to get started. All of these business stories begin with a vision -- after all, most do.

Start with the digital vision

If you don't have a vision, you are unlikely to succeed. Ask yourself where you are heading and where you want to see your business in the future. Every vision needs digital leadership, and a good way to start drafting this is with partners who understand your industry and the digital world. This also needs to be aligned with your customer strategy. Sometimes, this seems like the easiest step to take.

Offer what your customers want

In the energy market, one of the things customers undoubtedly look for is a good price. From a business perspective, however, this hardly creates a competitive edge, because energy prices are quite similar all across the board.

In Nordic studies, the results have shown that more and more consumers want environmental solutions to energy consumption, including solar and wind power. The same studies show that these consumers are looking for energy companies that can give them excellent customer service and digital solutions. However, I still see many energy companies providing their customers with a differentiating market message in the customer interactions while struggling with channel harmonisation. If you want to be a premium retailer, then make your offerings premium across all channels.

Take it to the Energy Industry Cloud

We recommend Energy Industry Cloud solutions for all energy industry players. The Cloud has many business benefits such as cost-efficiency, flexibility, security, and compliance with rules and regulations set by the energy industry. With Cloud, you can scale quickly, innovate faster, and make more secure transactions. Cloud enables your entire service and network to move at a higher speed.

The energy industry is heading toward the digital world, and there is a lot to do in this field. Transformation happens on many levels, and not just customer-based ones. Energy business operations are undergoing new business models. Just like Cristina Petrescu, I also believe that "the winners of the energy industry's future will be the companies that can predict future demand, and adapt to new technologies by meeting the modern expectations of their customers."

I see many upcoming digital opportunities, and that's why I'm so fascinated with the energy market and its digital transformation. I'm looking forward to continuing this discussion with you here on this blog or on Twitter.

The writer is Carl Lidholm, Head of Consulting Energy & Utilities at Tieto. You can read more about Tieto Energy Utilities here

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