Welcome to the E Source Blog! Our staff will share insights and observations about life at E Source, our events, our research, and other fun stuff.
Solar is a hot topic (yes, pun intended) for both utilities and customers. As the cost of photovoltaic panels decreases and the popularity of solar increases, utilities are feeling pressured to change their traditional business model. Conflicting incentives around net-metering policies are creating complex regulatory proceedings all around the country, resulting in tension between utilities and solar installers and creating a perception among many customers that the utility is generally not in support of solar. What strategies can utilities use to better communicate their solar message?
In many utilities, being a customer experience (CX) professional can sometimes feel like a lonely, losing battle. There are days when you feel like you’re barefoot, pushing a boulder made of squirrels up a muddy, thorn-covered hill. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a secret weapon that could help you get executive involvement, cross-functional engagement, and clear prioritization of the many improvement opportunities? Based on our research, that secret weapon just might be a CX council.
Many of you likely find yourself in some phase of demand-side management (DSM) portfolio planning. With rising equipment energy-efficiency standards, and the persistence of low natural gas prices, many utilities are looking for deeper savings from tried-and-true programs and identifying new programs, often from traditionally difficult-to-reach sectors. As you consider which programs to keep, which to improve, and which to abandon, start by benchmarking your utility’s 2013 programs using our recently released “DSM Achievements and Expenditures 2013” report.
A few weeks ago at the 2014 E Source Forum, Steve Bishop, senior director at Automatic Labs, spoke on innovation and design. He showed us the power of “design thinking,” which is the process of analyzing a problem and creating solutions from the bottom up. And he showed us that “un-innovative” utility people could use design thinking to create innovative ideas when given the chance. We came up with some pretty good solutions to solving a pretty common utility problem.
Chances are, if you’ve heard about all the benefits of bringing a customer experience (CX)-focused culture to your utility, you’re still trying to get the message through to the rest of your organization. That’s why it’s helpful to provide performance data derived from CX-specific metrics. Our three-part series on CX metrics offers details on how to develop and implement these vital measurements.
Millennials have a reputation for being self-centered, entitled, and lazy, but many of our Generation X and baby boomer colleagues have realized that this isn’t always an accurate assessment. Millennials are simply not afraid to take risks, make decisions quickly, and admit when it’s time for a big change. So when these young professionals in the energy industry choose to quickly move on to new companies or careers, it might not be generational whimsy that’s driving their decisions. It might be an intolerance of intransigence, which offers us an opportunity to consider some important questions.
In celebration of an awesome E Source Forum 2014 in Denver last week and in recognition of CX Day, we have more reasons than ever to share our appreciation for our members. We love your dedication to the energy industry, and watching your incredible success makes us proud to do what we do. Here are just a few reasons why we love our E Source members.
Despite a history of consumer distrust, interactive voice response units are great opportunities for utilities to set a positive tone for the rest of their customers’ interactions. Once customers learn that the robot answering the phone at your utility can actually help them, they might not be so afraid of working with the system to solve their problems.
While planning this year’s customer experience (CX) sessions, we’ve made it our mission to ensure that every single presentation informs and inspires the hundreds of utility professionals who will be traveling from all over North America to attend. We want to turn every participant into a CX superstar.
Admit it. You’re calculating return on investment (ROI) all the time. You’re probably doing it right now: “If I put five minutes into reading this blog, how much will I get out of it?” It’s somewhat depressing and nerdy, but we (consciously or not) develop business cases and assess ROI every single day. Is your investment in this blog post starting to pay off? Read on …