How can a utility recharge its connection to customers and employees?
A major US utility asked EY to help it use digital technology to build closer relationships with both their customers and employees.
In the highly regulated world of utilities, markets are being deregulated. New competitors are emerging across distribution, transmission and power generation. And the shift to clean energy is accelerating. To meet these challenges, a large integrated, multi-jurisdictional utility wanted to find a more innovative way to connect with its electric and natural gas customers.
The leadership team wanted to build closer relationships with both their customers and employees, using digital technology. They revealed that the top reason customers phoned the call center was to tell the company that their power was out. They asked how to reduce points of friction with customers, creating a more interactive relationship that would strengthen loyalty and build long-term value.
We used EY wavespace™ to explore how innovation could propel the utility forward, using technology to enable new ways of working and new behaviors. To bring these ideas to life and “show not tell,” EY developed a prototype that leadership could click through to see and experience a technology-enabled future for customers and employees. Doing this in wavespace helped them to appreciate the impact of proactive communication with customers, such as storm alerts, real-time information on power outages, expected repair times, and the ability to track the current location of the field crews.
In the context of the regional regulated power and utility industry, these ideas were leading edge. wavespace provided the space, mindset and collaborative tools to work through initial concerns, and to align and energize executives. Soon leadership’s only question was: how soon can we get started?