U2030 Blog

Brian Sulka, EOS
When we think about becoming a customer- and prospect-centric organization, what do we see at the end of the ‘customer-first’ rainbow? The marketing team ignites action and delivers quantifiable results. The sales team gets bigger commissions, because they are empowered to sell company and product value instead of price.
The #utility business model has traditionally focused on providing safe, reliable, and affordable electricity, natural gas, and clean water, and accurately billing customers for what they use. While this is no small feat, it is all that customers expect of their utility provider. Now the industry is buzzing with talk about “the utility of the future” because—to survive and thrive—utility companies need to look quite different tomorrow than they do today.
The Value of an Engaged Customer
What is the value of a connected customer? During the initial months of the pandemic, Questline deployed more than 72 million COVID-19-related communications [link: https://www.questline.com/blog/covid-19-transformed-email-communications/ ] on behalf of energy utilities from across the U.S. The performance metrics from those sends revealed a lot about the successes they had in reaching #customers during a #crisis and delivering resources and program information quickly, effectively and economically.
Customer centricity is critical to the transformation game but offering smooth self-service experience and pleasant interactions with the call center is no longer enough. To persevere when a growing number of competitors are fighting for utility customers, utility companies must go beyond offering reliable and safe electricity, natural gas, drinking water and wastewater services to meet other customer needs.
I just had my electricity changed to a time-of-use (TOU) plan. The price I now pay for my electricity is dependent upon the time when I use it. Sounds simple, doesn’t it. But, sadly it really isn’t.

My rate has 3 different time periods with different prices:




If you ask people to define a smart city, you will learn that it means different things to different people and can vary from city to city and country to country. Regardless of individual definitions, one truth prevails: smart city projects are imperative to utility industry transformation, allowing utility companies to survive and thrive—all while maintaining safety—over the next ten years and beyond.