FEATURE // ModERnizing CX TEChnology The eTouchPoint platform features dashboards that visualize survey responses and key CX metrics for clients. (eTouchPoint) “Likewise, what happens when customers are frustrated? They complain. And if they are really angry, they will complain to the regulator and media. Many utility executives point to increasing customer satisfaction as necessary to achieve optimal regulatory outcomes; however, by far, the number-one driver of regulatory action in the customer arena is the level of complaints.” The other industry-standard metric, CSAT, gives the company insight into frontline team performance. With this metric, CX leaders can understand how well specific technicians engage with customers and have a view into the effectiveness of targeted training initiatives. Over the long-term, CSAT measures provide insight on customers’ overall happiness with their experiences, and allow CX leaders to address issues if scores begin to fall. With its final, open-ended question, the survey allows customers to give voice to thoughts or concerns in their own words. By empowering customers to provide unstructured feedback, the company lets customers know that their experiences matter. The utility can build a rich repository of customer insights that it can mine for a deeper understanding of its customer base. Improving customer communications While improving the customer experience is new territory for some utilities, those that have taken the lead are achieving solid returns. In fact, research by the Aberdeen Group revealed that power and utility companies with best-in-class CX programs saw remarkable results. The top 20 percent of CX programs studied attained: • 51 percent higher customer retention rates • 23 percent increase in customer profit margins, year-over-year • 24 percent improvement in response times to customer needs, year-over-year Aberdeen also found that utilities with best-in-class CX also achieved 44 percent greater growth in annual company revenues, year-over-year, when compared to peers with less robust programs. Increasing emphasis on customer experience offers clear benefits for utilities. Today’s utilities that want to enhance customer communications can achieve tangible wins by advancing their CX survey practices. Moving to a technology-based feedback collection process and designing a well-rounded survey gives customers a voice, provides deeper insights and can form the foundation for a CX program that can yield measurable results. Western Energy / Fall 2017 / westernenergy.org/we ChIp JAmeS is president of 42 eTouchPoint, a CX platform provider to Fortune 500 leaders. A CX industry veteran, James has been a leading CX advocate through speaking engagements, client consulting, and development of industry best practices.