Consumers have increasingly high expectations of utilities. They expect instant reactivity because digital interaction is part of their daily lives. They expect sustainability because the environment is top of mind. And they expect tailored services because that’s what they’re used to.
Meeting these expectations is essential if utilities want to drive customer engagement and satisfaction. But being more customer-centric doesn’t necessarily mean devoting more time to consumers. It can also be about giving consumers more responsibility, about empowering them to find their own answers, drive their own cost savings, and make their own contribution to sustainability.
By putting consumers in control, utilities can not only boost customer engagement; they can simultaneously reduce the workload of their customer services.
Empowerment by smartphone
One of the first solutions designed to empower consumers is Diehl Metering’s IZAR@HOME, a smartphone app that allows households to consult multiple metrics about their consumption. The solution relies on IZAR radio technology and smart meters to collect data about the utility’s network. While this wealth of information is usually reserved to help utilities run operations more efficiently, it can now be partly shared with consumers to put them in control of their consumption habits.
Sustainability with lower costs
With IZAR@HOME, consumers can view their consumption over time and compare their efficiency with peer groups. Simple graphs offer them a fuller understanding of the data, encouraging them to adopt more sustainable habits.
In addition, the app makes it easier to understand the link between consumption habits and costs, helping them to reduce their bills. For utilities, the result is increased customer satisfaction.
By providing access to a 24/7 Help Centre, IZAR@HOME also encourages consumers to self-manage many of their needs, helping to free up the utility’s customer services. The app can even be used to send push messages, such as leak alarms, so consumers can react more quickly to leaks and avoid damage to their homes and the network.
Diehl Metering’s IZAR@HOME is an excellent example of how customer empowerment can drive customer engagement. By offering consumers a tool to take control of their consumption habits, utilities can consolidate communication, strengthen customer relations, and answer their demands for digitisation and sustainability.