The race for the customer | KPMG | CO

The race for the customer

The race for the customer

The power and utilities industry is evolving to excel at customer understanding and service excellence.

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Socia, Manufactura Y Servicios

KPMG in Colombia

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The power and utility industry, as a general rule, has not been known for excelling in customer relationships and support. This perception, while sometimes unfair, is not without a kernel of truth. Utilities have two main types of clients: residential and commercial/industrial. Historically, the customer relationship paradigm for residential customers has been that of a rate payer who is approached on a “least cost to serve” basis. For commercial and industrial customers, utilities have historically provided a greater level of service, but have not provided the level of control and choice expected. Increasingly, choice and control are becoming residential customer expectations as well. This history has led to a brand perception that reflects a more transactional, and less personal, relationship. Over the years, some utilities have made significant strides in trying to meet customer expectations through traditional utility interactions, but have often focused on the specific metrics driving high-level customer satisfaction scores as we measure them today and not what the evolving industry will require.

This context is important as we see the industry undergoing significant disruption from multiple forces. These include increased access to alternative energy supplies, a changing regulatory environment, and changing residential customer expectations arising from digital and personalized buying experiences in other industries. The combination of rapid technological advancement and the changing customer expectations is having a significant impact on the industry, and this will only continue to grow. These opportunities have been noticed by non-utility industry companies, who have started to enter the market from multiple angles— creating a race to own the utility customer relationship, and through that to control who has access in the future to multiple profit opportunities, beyond the power commodity. Who will win the race for the customer?

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