However, the survey results also show that there are significant gaps between consumers’ expectations and their utilities’ performance. For example, while 91 percent of consumers said that clear and easy-to-understand pricing information is important, only 69 percent would rate their providers’ performance in that area as good or excellent – a gap of 22 percent.“Utilities need to consider radically rethinking their customer satisfaction investments with a targeted approach to simplifying the consumer energy experience, addressing the concerns of dissatisfied consumers and closing the expectation gap,” Guthridge said. Responses from survey participants indicate that utilities have several opportunities to better engage with their customers, including:
- Extending the mobile experience
- Tackling consumer costs
- Acting as an energy advisor
- Delivering a smarter experience
“It’s becoming clear that utilities are at a turning point when it comes to serving the new, tech-savvy consumer,” Guthridge said. “Satisfaction and trust are built on consistently delivering the basic customer experience whether through digital or traditional channels. Once in place, utilities have incredible opportunities to create digitally powered value propositions that can deliver step-change consumer engagement.”Methodology Accenture’s annual global survey was based on questionnaire-led interviews with 11,154 residential consumers in 21 countries, conducted online in native languages for Accenture by Harris Interactive. It is a quantitative survey with a sample statistically representative of the general population in each country, with the exception of Brazil, China and South Africa, where the sample was representative of the urban populations. The New Energy Consumer Handbook ( http://www.accenture.com/us-en/Pages/insight-new-energy-consumer-handbook.aspx) draws upon four consecutive years of end-consumer research, analysis of consumer and technology trends, insights from leading energy providers, cross-industry experience and Accenture’s knowledge of managing utility customer operations. The handbook is designed to offer energy providers fresh ideas and actionable insights to help frame the journey ahead and inspire dynamic new approaches that can lead to success in the evolving energy marketplace. About Accenture Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 266,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$27.9 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2012. Its home page is www.accenture.com About Accenture Energy Consumer Services Accenture Energy Consumer Services provides customer care solutions for competitive and regulated energy providers globally. We help our clients to develop and implement full value-chain solutions that achieve three key business imperatives: cost effectiveness, revenue assurance and customer satisfaction. Through new energy customer transformation, next generation customer solutions, transformational outsourcing and asset-powered services, we bring world-class industry-specific management consulting, technology and business process customer-care capabilities to our electricity, gas and water clients.