E Source completed an exciting new pilot study in 2015 to assess the omnichannel efforts of the utility industry across eight customer-facing channels. The study provides insights into the health and integration of those channels from a representative sample of North American residential customers as well as from utilities across the US and Canada.
Access Study Results
If you’re a subscriber, these links will take you to the following study deliverables. If you’re not currently a subscriber, you may contact us for information on membership to pertinent E Source services.
Our goal is for the results of this unique industry-leading project to serve as a diagnostic tool for utilities that are building a business case for omnichannel efforts.
From a residential customer perspective, we want to understand:
- What do residential customers expect when they interact with a company across channels? How do those expectations differ from what the utility industry is currently offering?
- Regardless of channel, what key customer interactions are most important for utilities to offer in a seamless way?
From a utility perspective, we explore:
- What is the performance and importance of each customer-facing channel? What interactions could be more seamlessly integrated for utility customers?
- What channel metrics should be focused on to improve the customer experience within the utility industry?
The results of this market research project illuminate the gaps between the customer and utility perceptions of omnichannel experiences and provide an exciting foundation of research metrics and channel priorities for the industry.
What’s In It for You?
For E Source members, there are many benefits to participating in this study, including access to key findings through an industry report and web conference. Non-member survey participants will be invited to an exclusive web conference detailing the results of this study.
We believe that it’s critical for an omnichannel survey to explore the utility and customer perspectives, so we survey both groups.
Surveys focused on the utility audience (voice of the utility). Utility participants of our surveys should be a channel owner or the point person for answering questions about omnichannel strategy and the implementation of eight distinct channels at each organization. One survey asks about omnichannel strategy and integration at the utility, while the additional eight surveys ask about the following channels:
- Website (desktop, laptop, and mobile)
- Mobile app
- Text messaging
- Online chat
- Phone—live agent
- Social media
With his or her utility in mind, each utility representative is asked to evaluate the importance of the channel, the current performance of the channel, the integration of channels across interactions, and the utility’s performance in each channel. E Source analysis then reveals the gaps between performance and importance for each channel. In addition to the gap analysis, we also evaluate and report on key metrics for each channel. Our analyses allow us to identify performance targets for the utility industry.
Survey focused on the residential customer audience (voice of the customer). We survey 800 residential customers across North America to assess their experiences, preferences, and expectations when interacting across eight channels not specific to the utility industry. Participating customers are asked about their cross-channel interactions with various industries in order to evaluate whether energy providers are meeting residential customer expectations compared to other service industries.
The voice-of-the-customer survey mirrors the questions we ask utilities regarding the importance and performance of each communication channel. E Source analysis combines channel-specific metrics from each utility with customer expectations and identifies performance gaps and steps utilities can take to better serve their residential customers.