So Near Yet so FarWhy Utilities Need to Re-energize TheirDigital Customer Experience

Mind the Gap: How a Digital Divide is Compromisingthe Utility Customer Experiencelevels in Britain dropped from 78% in2012 to 55% in 2013. And only 29% ofcustomers trusted their utility providersto be open and transparent in 2013,compared to 34% in 20121. For the EUas a whole, customers’ trust levels in theirenergy suppliers stood at just 45%, andin North America, at 53% in 20132.Only 29% of customerstrusted their utilityproviders in 2013.Utilities Face GrowingCustomer DissatisfactionThere is simmering discontent in theutilities industry. Customers, alreadyincreasingly demanding, are now activelydissatisfied with their providers. Take theUK as an example. Customer satisfactionThere is clearly a need to address thistide of disquiet and re-energize the utilitycustomer experience. Industry analystsurveys show that utilities have realized theneed for enhancing customer experience(see Figure 1). However, the industry’sbest efforts to rebuild confidence andtrust could in fact be undermined by agrowing digital divide, with consumersdemanding a digital experience that theindustry has so far been unable to meet.Customer satisfactionlevels in the UK droppedfrom 78% in 2012 to 55%in 2013.Figure 1: Top Business Challenges for UtilitiesTop Business ChallengesEuropean UtilitiesTop Business ChallengesNorth American UtilitiesMaintain regulatory complianceMaintain regulatory complianceEnhance customer experienceSmart meteringRetain customersAging infrastructureSmart networksEnvironmental legislationEnvironmental legislationEnhance customer experienceSmart meteringRevenue protectionRevenue protectionSmart networksAging infrastructureRetain customersManage an aging workforceManage an aging workforce1. rating1. ratingSample size: 111Sample size: 48Question: How important are the above business challenges to your organization?Question: How important are the above business challenges to your organization?Source: Ovum, “ICT Enterprise Insights in the Utilities Industry”, 20132

Nearly 624 millioncustomers are expected toengage with utilities viasocial media by the end of2017.Thwarted Desire: UtilitiesHave Not Met theirCustomers’ Digital WantsUtility customers want to go digital.Platforms such as social media and mobileapps are rapidly becoming the preferredmeans for customers to communicatewith their providers. Research indicatesthat over 57 million customers engagedwith utilities via social media in 2011and that this number is expected to riseto 624 million by the end of 20173. It isalso estimated that 50% of customersprefer to use a mobile customer serviceapplication to try and resolve their serviceissues before calling the contact center4.Unfortunately, utilities have not kept pacewith consumers in the shift to digitalchannels. Our research with the MITCentre for Digital Business shows thatonly 40% of utility providers use digitaltechnologies to enable self-service (seeFigure 2). Less than 30% of utilitiesuse digital technologies to provide aconsistent experience across channels5.While utilities have undoubtedly takentheir first steps towards a brighterdigital future, they have a long way togo. We conducted a detailed study tounderstand the digital initiatives beingundertaken by utilities to improve thecustomer experience. We also assessedthe reaction and sentiments of customerstowards those initiatives. We share thesefindings over the following pages beforeconcluding with a set of pragmaticrecommendations on how utilities cancement their relationship with customersthrough digital, rather than threaten it.Figure 2: Adoption of Digital Technologies by Utilities to Enhance CustomerExperience% of utilities agreeing with the statement50% of customers preferto use a mobile customerservice application to tryto resolve their customerservice issues beforecalling the contact center.40%29%We use digital technologies toenable self-serviceWe use digital technologies to provideconsistency across channels26%11%We use digital technologies topersonalize the sales experienceWe use digital technologies toconduct location-aware marketingSource: Capgemini Consulting and MIT Center for Digital Business, “Digital Transformation Benchmark - 2012:Emergence of the Digital Utility”, 2013.3

Out of Tune: Digital Initiatives are Out of Sync withCustomer Expectations52% of utilities allowcustomers to pay billsonline through utilitywebsites, while 34% offerbill payment features ontheir mobile apps.Billing Issues: A ConcernDespite New DigitalPayment ChannelsUtilities have begun efforts to try andsimplify the billing and payments processfor customers. For instance, 52%of utilities in our study (see researchmethodology on page 7 for details) allowcustomers to pay bills online throughtheir official websites, while 34% offer billpayment features on their mobile apps.However, despite these initiatives, billingissues continue to be a cause of concernfor customers. Our analysis revealed thatonly 30% of online customer mentionsrelated to utility billing services arepositive. The most common billing issuesthat customers face include overcharges,especially for delayed payments, andinaccuracies in billing periods and rateplans in utility invoices.Outage ManagementRemains a One-WayChannel that Does NotSupport CustomerFeedback MechanismsClose to 52% of utilities in our studyprovide outage information on theirwebsites, while 44% offer this informationthrough their mobile apps. Additionally,58% of utility providers post poweroutage information on social mediachannels such as Twitter, Facebook, andon company-managed blogs. However,the majority of utilities do not offer amechanism for customers to reportoutage issues. We found that only 26%of customer mentions on the quality ofcommunication on outages are positive.Mobile Apps Offer LimitedFunctionality56% of utility providers offer a mobileapp. However, most utilities offer onlybasic functionality, such as the ability toview service details or receive alerts fromproviders. Only 24% of utility providersoffer advanced features, such as theability to report issues via the app (seeFigure 3). It is perhaps not surprising,therefore, that only 32% of customeropinions on the mobile apps offered byutilities are favorable.Only 32% of customeropinions on the mobileapps offered by utilitiesare favorable.Figure 3: Mobile App Feature Support% of utilities offering the feature46%View servicedetails40%ReceivealertsSource: Capgemini Consulting analysis444%View outageinformation34%Access andpay bills44%Update accountinformation24%Reportproblems

Only 29% of the customersentiment on the qualityof customer supportoffered by utilities ispositive.Social Media is Not Usedas an Effective Medium forCustomer Serviceon social media channels. It is telling thatonly 29% of the sentiment on the qualityof customer support offered by utilities ispositive.Utilities are using social media channelsprimarily to share information, whichincludesenergyefficiencytips,emergency handling tips, or outageinformation (see Figure 4). Social mediachannels are also used as platforms forbrand building. For instance, 58% ofutilities use their social media channels topromote their community developmentinitiatives. However, most utilities arenot utilizing their social media channelsto actively engage with customers. Forinstance, only 34% of utilities address thecomplaints they receive from customersOnly 34% of utilitiesaddress the complaintsthey receive fromcustomers on social mediachannels.Figure 4: Social Media Feature Support% of utilities offering the feature via their social media channels62%Emergencyhandling tips58%Power outageinformation60%Energyefficiency tips36%Contests /promotions58%Information on communitydevelopment initiatives34%Customercomplaint redressalSource: Capgemini Consulting analysis5

The Disconnect between what Utilities Offerand what Customers ExperienceAre Utilities Doing Enough ?Are Customers Satisfied ?Mobile apps offer limited functionality56%of utility providersoffer a mobile app32%of customer opinions onutilities’ mobile apps arefavorableSocial media is not used effectively for customer service34%address customercomplaints on socialmedia channels29%of the customer sentiment onthe quality of customer supportoffered by utilities is positiveWebsites lack self-service features52%enablebill payments28%Onlyof customer opinions onself-service features offeredby utilities are favorableOutage management does not supportcustomer feedback mechanisms24%offer the ability toreport problemsvia mobile apps626%of customer mentions onthe quality of communicationon outages are positiveSource: Capgemini Consulting analysis

While utilities have tried to engage withcustomers through a variety of digitalinitiatives, their efforts are falling short.To reflect on why that is and what canbe done, it would be helpful to look atanother industry that has made a virtueof the digital customer experience, todraw out best practice and the lessonslearned along the way. In the next section,we cast our eye over the telecom sector,which has had more joy in using digitaltools to improve and sustain the quality ofthe customer experience.Research MethodologyPart 1 – Analysis of Digital Initiatives Launched by Utilities to Improve Customer ExperienceWe studied the adoption of digital channels by the top 50 utility providers across the globe. Our research focused on theirweb, mobile and social media initiatives. We evaluated each utility based on its use of social media platforms to provideinformation, address customer complaints, manage outages and run promotions. Mobile customer care apps offered byeach utility were evaluated based on features such as the ability to access and pay bills, view and update information, andreport problems. We also assessed the web-based self-service features offered by each utility.Part 2 – Analysis of Customer Sentiment towards Utility-Driven Digital InitiativesWe used advanced analytics tools to conduct an exhaustive web-based scan of customer reaction towards utility digitalinitiatives. We gathered and analyzed customer sentiment data from a wide range of sources including social media sites,blogs, and online discussion boards. The themes for our assessment included: Customer support — quality of complaint resolution and correction of billing issues. Self-service — quality of web and mobile self-service features. Outage management — quality of communication during outages and emergencies. Billing — billing accuracy and resolution of billing issues. Community development — sustainability initiatives undertaken by utilities.7

Ringing the Changes: Best Practice for Utilitiesfrom the Telecom IndustryThe leading telecom companies offera good parallel for utility players. Likeutilities, telecom companies are engagedin a service that serves millions of peopleon a 24-hour basis. The telecom industrywas also one of the first areas to bestruck by the first disruptive wave ofdigital technologies.Utilities lag telecomcompanies in the use ofsocial media platforms,mobile channels, andcustomer analytics toreach and engage withcustomers.Our research with the MIT Center forDigital Business revealed that utilities lagtelecom companies in the use of socialmedia platforms, mobile channels, andcustomer analytics to reach and engagewith customers (see Figure 5)6. We believethat utilities can draw useful lessons fromtelecom companies on how to expandthe breadth and quality of their digitalcustomer experience resolve customer issues through socialmedia channels, responding to more than99% of the tweets it receives8.Some telcos are also using socialmedia channels as an effective way ofencouraging self-service. For instance,European telecom major O2 recentlylaunched its “#TweetServe” program,designed to be a Twitter-based selfservice platform for customers. Theplatform allows customers to send tweetsto the operator using specific keywords,in order to obtain information on datausage, bill related details, or special offersand deals on new phones. Responses tothe tweets are sent back to customers inthe form of direct Twitter messages fromthe operator9.Verizon responds to morethan 99% of customertweets.Telcos are EmbeddingCustomer Service withinSocial Media ChannelsTelecom operators are increasinglymaking social media a central pillar oftheir customer service strategy. A recentstudy on the use of Twitter for customerservice found that most brands redirectcustomer complaints received on socialmedia to traditional channels such asphone and email7. Telecom companies,however, were found to have the lowestdeflection rate of customer complaintson social media, despite receiving amongthe highest volumes of tweets. Verizon,for instance, makes concerted attemptsO2 has launched aTwitter based self-serviceplatform for customers,called the “#TweetServe”program.Figure 5: Comparison of Digital Customer Experience Initiatives in the Telecom and Utilities IndustriesUse of CustomerAnayticsUse of MobileChannelsUse of SocialMediaUse of Digital for Customer Experience ImprovementAverage industry ratings (on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being the highest) to provide customer promote products and services to sell products and services4. to provide customer service to sell products and services4. to target marketing initiatives more effectively4.83.8 to personalize marketing communication to optimize promote products and servicesSource: Capgemini Consulting and MIT Center for Digital Business, 201284.

Telcos are Making DigitalChannels a SeamlessPart of Their SupportPropositionSome telcos have recognized the needto ensure that digital channels do notoperate in isolation, but rather exist asan integrated part of their overall serviceproposition. For instance, Telefonica’sSpanish subsidiary Movistar is upgradingits CRM capabilities so that its customerscan seamlessly transition from theirmobile self-service apps to contactcenter support. When a customerselects the option to switch from theapp to the contact center, all informationabout the customer’s activities in themobile application is transferred to thecontact center, providing the agent withreal-time information on the customer’sprofile and the context of the interaction.Additionally, the upgrade enablesmultimedia collaboration options, suchas the exchange of images betweenthe customer and contact center agent,to further enhance the speed andeffectiveness of issue resolution10.Telefonica Movistarenables customersto switch seamlesslybetween their mobile selfservice app and contactcenter support.Similarly,France-basedBouyguesTelecom’s online-only brand B&YOUoffers a seamless and entirely digitizedcustomer service process. To reduceservice terminations, B&YOU offers clickto-call features on its website; customersseeking to terminate a connectionare offered the click-to-call option tospeak with a customer service agent or“e-advisor”, who attempts to address thegrievance that prompted the cancellation.This has helped B&YOU reduce customerchurn by 50%11.Telcos are Using DigitalTechnologies to EffectivelyAddress Billing ConcernsUsage of such technology has enabledAT&T to reduce inbound call volumes andincrease customer satisfaction scores12.Digital technologies can also act aseffectivecomplementarymediumsto address traditional challenges. Forinstance, AT&T is using video and analyticstechnology to provide customers withgreater transparency on their bills. Thecompany actually creates personalizedvideos that help customers betterunderstand their bill. New customers andcustomers who upgrade to new servicesreceive a link to a personalized videoalong with their first bill. These videosexplain the different components of thecustomer’s bill. In addition to improvingbilling transparency, these digital initiativesalso enable AT&T to offer proactivecustomer service. A built-in analyticsplatform analyzes customer data andagent logs and is used to create followup videos after a customer service call,to provide additional self-service tips andproduct and service recommendations.The telco industry shows us how digitaltechnologies can create a compellingcustomer experience, bridging the gapbetween the digital needs of the customerand their provider’s ability to deliver.Although there are notable exceptions inthe utility industry (see insert on HydroQuebec), it is apparent that more needsto be done. We conclude this paper withsome concrete recommendations forhow utilities can turn this situation around– using digital to create a new level ofutility customer experience.AT&T offers personalizedvideos to help customersbetter understand theirbills.Hydro-Quebec: Transforming CustomerExperience through DigitalHydro Quebec, a leading energy and utilities company in North America, generates,transmits and distributes electricity, mainly using renewable energy sources. Thecompany historically had a limited presence on social media platforms and mobilechannels. Moreover, existing channels were siloed, which meant that the company didnot have a unified view of the customer.In 2011, Hydro Quebec embarked on a four-year program to transform the organizationinto one that was dedicated to the improvement of customer experience. Top of the listof objectives were the creation of a multichannel customer experience improvementstrategy, the development of offers tailored to each market and customer segment,and the promotion of a customer-centric culture within the organization.As part of the transformation program, the company launched a “Drive to Web”initiative, to make the web, and all other digital channels such as email, mobile and socialmedia, the core of the multichannel experience for the customer. The strategy aimedat rationalizing traditional channels and delivering more value through digital channels.Hydro Quebec strengthened its Web and mobile channels by offering enhancementssuch as the explanation of bills and payment terms, improved management of outages,and new smart metering services. The “Drive to Web” initiative resulted in an increasein the number of customers opting for online self-care services, and consequently,reduced inbound call volumes by 12%.Source: Capgemini Consulting9

Making It Happen: Transforming the UtilityCustomer Experience through DigitalWe believe there are three important stepsa utility must take to achieve the nirvanaof ‘digital utility’ (see Figure 6). You needto give digital channels a boost, createthat seamless multi-channel experience,and make your move towards being a‘complete provider’.Give Individual Channels aDigital BoostExpand the Scope of the Web andMobile ChannelOnline and web channels must be usedmore efficiently to deliver bills, with optionsfor customers to report errors easily.Utilities must create web-based selfservice features that allow customers toview patterns in energy usage, by month,day or hour, as well as peak and non-peakhour tariffs. This will enable customersto switch to a tariff plan that matchestheir usage and even to alter usage toreduce energy consumption. Similarly,mobile apps must offer functionality forcustomers to report billing errors or seekclarifications on bills.Utilities must ensurethat complaints on socialmedia are addressed ina timely manner, withclearly defined SLAs thatmatch those of contactcenter services.Strengthen Customer ServiceCapabilities on Social MediaUtilities must strengthen their socialmedia customer service capabilities.Utilities should set up a dedicated socialmedia account, such as a Twitter handle,to address customer issues. Utilitiesmust also ensure that complaints areaddressed in a timely manner, with clearlydefined SLAs that match those of contactcenter services.However, setting up a dedicated socialmedia account and establishing SLAs forresponse are only part of the story. Utilitiesshould actively invest in training customerservice teams that manage social mediachannels to ensure complaints are closedon the social channel itself, rather thanbeing redirected to traditional channels.Existing CRM processesneed to be adapted tosupport an Any Time AnyWhere Any Device modelof service delivery.Figure 6: Towards a Digital UtilityMove towards BeingComplete EnergyServices ProvidersCreate a SeamlessMulti-Channel ExperienceGive Individual Channelsa Digital BoostSource: Capgemini Consulting analysis10

Deliver a SeamlessMultichannel AnytimeAnywhere Any DeviceExperienceA robust multichannel customer servicestrategy lies at the heart of an engagingcustomer experience. Utilities need toensure that all digital channels that serveas customer touchpoints are seamlesslyintegrated. This is critical if customers areto receive a consistent experience acrosschannels, and customer interactions thatbegin in one channel can be completedin another without disruption. ExistingCRM processes will need to be adaptedto support an ‘Any Time Any Where AnyDevice’ model of service delivery (seeFigure 7). This will also ensure that utilitiesare well-placed to take advantage of newcustomer service opportunities, such asproviding personalized recommendationson energy usage or promoting newservices.Utilities need to consciously increasethe volume and value added throughdigital channels and services. As theHydro-Quebec case demonstrated, bydoing so, they can decrease inbound flowon traditional channels. This has a directimpact of improving the bottom-line byreducing the utility cost to serve as well ascost to acquire customers.To drive long termcustomer stickiness,utilities should transformthemselves from energysuppliers to energyservice providers.Develop an Energy ServicesPortfolioTo create long-term customer loyalty,utilities should transform themselvesfrom energy suppliers to energy serviceproviders. Energy usage data gatheredfrom smart meters offers an opportunityfor utilities to realize this transformation.Smart meter data can be used to segmentcustomers more accurately and offer arange of customized energy managementservices. This includes real-time insightson energy usage and personalized adviceon reducing consumption. Further, smartmeter data can also be used to roll outtargeted demand response programs toincentivize energy efficiency. For instance,customers who reduce electricity usageduring peak hours could be offered billcredits. Such services will enable utilities tocreate more value for themselves as wellas customers, in turn driving sustainedcustomer satisfaction and loyalty.Using digital technologies, utilities haveabundant opportunities to simplify andenrich the lives of their consumers.Clearly, the heart of the issue is ensuringthat exceptional customer service is yourraison d’être. But with savvy consumersdemanding this service across digitalchannels, utilities need to bridge thedigital divide that threatens to underminetheir customer promise.Figure 7: Delivering a Seamless Multichannel Customer ExperienceDiscoveryFirst Order Normal Life Discover New ProductsRenewalI visit a store formore informationI get my bill with details ofthe loyalty programI look for information on mymobile or tablet toenrich my usageDifferentiationbased on customersegmentationA friendrecommendsa new offeron FacebookI learnabout theoffer onthe webI place an orderon the brand’swebsiteI share my experienceon the brand’s officialblog and post myopinion on socialnetworksI get a personalized emailwith the special offer ofre-engagement that I sawon TwitterI am informed onTwitter with aspecial offer ofre-engagementI call an advisor tore-engage, using aclick-to-call optionSource: Capgemini Consulting analysis11

References1Ipsos MORI, “Customer Engagement with the Energy Market – Tracking Survey”, June 20132Edelman, “Trust in Energy – 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer”, January 20143Pike Research Survey, “Social Media in the Utility Industry Consumer Survey”, 20124IMIMobile, Energy and Utilities webpage5Capgemini and MIT Center for Digital Business, “Digital Transformation Benchmark - 2012: Emergence of the Digital Utility”,20126Capgemini Consulting and MIT Center for Digital Business Research, 20127Conversocial, “Which brands are Re-directing Social Media Complaints to Traditional Channels”, August 20138Conversocial, “With Twitter’s IPO Approaching, Which Brands Are Taking it Seriously as a Customer Service Channel?”,October 20139O2, “O2 launches ‘world first’ #TweetServe program”, October 201310 Yahoo Finance, “NICE Mobile Reach Selected by Telefónica to Provide Exceptional Customer Service”, February 201311, “Bouygues Telecom Reduces Customer Churn by 50% with Click-to-Call Technology”, November 201312 Forbes, “AT&T Gets Results With Proactive Customer Service”, November 201312

AuthorsPhilippe ViéVice President, Digital Utilities [email protected] [email protected] TransformationResearch [email protected] BuvatHead of Digital Transformation [email protected] AggarwalSenior [email protected] RadhakrishnanSenior [email protected] authors would also like to acknowledge the contributions of Simon Short and Maggie Buggie from the Capgemini DigitalCustomer Experience team, Roopa Nambiar from the Digital Transformation Research Institute, Abhishek Gokhale andJinesh Jain from the Capgemini Consulting India Team.For more information contactBelgiumPierre [email protected] Luigi [email protected] Garcia [email protected] Pierre [email protected] S[email protected] Sommarriba [email protected] Vié[email protected] AmericaTyler [email protected] dreas [email protected] d KingdomMartin [email protected]

Digital Utilities Transformation – Improving Customer Experience and Operating Models through DisruptiveTechnologiesCapgemini’s integrated Digital Utilities Transformation framework empowers traditional utilities to re-invent themselves and internalizethe disruptive digital technologies at optimized capital costs, while providing infrastructures and services enabling the energy transitiontowards a sustainable, low carbon economy. Our approach will drive utilities to become customers and communities centric and to totallyrethink their internal organization, the role of line workers, whilst it will drive down their cost. Moreover, we can help utilities to enable newservices like Home Energy Management and energy efficiency programs or communities programs.Digital Customer ExperienceThe Capgemini Global Service Line entitled Digital Customer Experience (DCX), helps organizations understand and implementthe right mix of business focused digital capabilities, deployed within the right framework for transformation – to fundamentallychange how they do business and serve their customers. Digitally mature organizations deliver on improving customer advocacyand driving growth.Available worldwide and across all industry sectors, the consolidated offer from Capgemini helps enterprises to embed digitalcustomer experiences into the heart of their organizations, while transforming their future business models and processes. DCXaddresses the need to achieve and sustain business value via digital initiatives, from the back-end right through to the front line.About Capgemini and theCollaborative Business ExperienceCapgemini Consulting is the global strategy and transformationconsulting organization of the Capgemini Group, specializingin advising and supporting enterprises in significanttransformation, from innovative strategy to execution and withan unstinting focus on results. With the new digital economycreating significant disruptions and opportunities, our globalteam of over 3,600 talented individuals work with leadingcompanies and governments to master Digital Transformation,drawing on our understanding of the digital economy andour leadership in business transformation and organizationalchange.With more than 130,000 people in 44 countries, Capgeminiis one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting,technology and outsourcing services. The Group reported 2012global revenues of EUR 10.3 billion. Together with its clients,Capgemini creates and delivers business and technologysolutions that fit their needs and drive the results they want. Adeeply multicultural organization, Capgemini has developed itsown way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM,and draws on Rightshore , its worldwide delivery model.Learn more about us at www.capgemini.comFind out more at: is a trademark belonging to CapgeminiCapgemini Consulting is the strategy and transformation consulting brand of Capgemini Group. The information contained in this document is proprietary. 2013 Capgemini. All rights reserved.

utilities, telecom companies are engaged in a service that serves millions of people on a 24-hour basis. The telecom industry was also one of the first areas to be struck by the first disruptive wave of digital technologies. Figure 5: Comparison of Digital Customer Experience Initiatives