Customer Experience Featured Article

Study: IDC Energy Insights Releases 2014 CXIT and Social Survey

October 22, 2014

IDC (News - Alert) Energy Insights recently announced the results of its annual report, the 2014 CXIT and Social Survey. It shows that customers of energy suppliers, like customers of many other industries, are demanding more of their suppliers by urging them to adopt digital communications channels.

The survey revealed, first and foremost, that businesses most preferred to use websites and online portals, email, and social networks as their primary means of digital communication with customers. Those channels make a good underpinning for truly connected organizations, but their customers are demanding even more digitization with the use of technologies such as mobile apps. Businesses, in turn, are apparently responding, according to IDC Research Manager Gaia Gallotti.

"Energy suppliers are learning to cater to a new generation of digital-savvy customers," Gallotti said. "Driving company presence across many communication channels is believed to be the most important factor to achieving superior customer experience. Today, the top 3 customer communication channels for ensuring a superior and unified customer experience are websites/portals (53 percent), emails (33 percent), and social networks (33 percent). However, it is noteworthy that mobile apps are significantly more preferred in the energy supply industry than in other industries. IDC Energy Insights believes mobile apps will have a more significant role in communication channels in the near future."

This adaptation to customer expectations begs the question: Who is in charge of making such changes? The report shows that it is often on the shoulders of energy companies' chief marketing officers or chief executive officers to dictate how they will operate their customer experience channels. IDC notes that energy companies are unique in that they are twice as likely to have CMO's lead their marketing strategy goals – which includes handling customer experience.

That notion, since marketing is directly related to the generation of revenue, points to energy companies focusing primarily on revenue as the main goal rather than customer service for its own sake. In fact, 40 percent of survey respondents said they believe mobile technologies can help drive company revenue. In large part, that is why a third of respondents said their companies would invest in customer-facing IT to create a competitive advantage over other players in the field. In the end, regardless of their primary aims, such investments in mobile should provide companies with a monetary return as the direct impact of a more satisfied customer base.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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