In Energy and Utilities, process optimisation is key to delivering a great customer experience. Being able to reduce waste and drive efficiency is significantly valuable, supporting the retention and attraction of customers, through positive perceptions of your brand.
Before improving internal processes, suppliers must establish a thorough understanding of customer needs and expectations. Without this, there’s a risk that time and resources will be invested inefficiently, resulting in frustration when expected results don’t come to fruition.
In this blog, we outline key considerations to support you with:
- Understanding your customers
- Mapping the customer journey
- Leveraging customer insight to improve processes
Understanding your customers
As a starting point, you should be familiar with the customer types that interact with your brand, considering how they perceive your processes and the overall experience. Although this will vary depending on different factors, such as demographics and individual needs, the quality of experience should remain consistent across each group.
Therefore, it’s important to assess how well you’re delivering against these needs, using this to identify gaps for improvement.
Analysing feedback can also be extremely valuable at this stage. If you have access to service reviews or customer call logs, use these to assess perceptions of your processes. Any data surrounding complaints is also helpful, including resolution time, and any patterns in the types of issues that are being raised.
By having this insight and updating it regularly, any efforts to improve processes will be better focussed, allowing you to drive tailored value-add activities, which are more likely to deliver recognisable benefits.
Mapping the customer journey
After developing a better understanding of customer groups, it’s important to document their journey when interacting with your brand.
This may involve confirming the channels used by each customer group, and at which stages of the journey, before focussing on the performance and effectiveness of these touchpoints.
To determine quality of service, consider factors such as wait time, communication clarity, and any recognisable patterns in demand. Doing this will support the identification of gaps, helping you to establish your approach for improvement, delivering a more rounded customer experience.
Leveraging customer insight to improve processes
Using this information around customers and their journey, you can start to evaluate the effectiveness of your internal processes. Through gap analysis, you may have already identified opportunities for improvement.
To support this, extend the above mapping exercise to include your own processes, and review inflow data for each of these.
It’s important to focus on the quality of resource allocation, considering how much is being invested into core activities. Where there’s evidence to suggest that this could be improved, pareto analysis can be valuable, helping you to ensure workload is prioritised more efficiently.
Identifying these opportunities, and acting on them correctly, will help you to reduce process waste and variability in the long term, contributing to a greater experience for the customer.
How can we help?
Our Operational Excellence team offer strategic insight and practical support, helping suppliers with process improvements to enhance customer experience.
Previously, this included supporting a large supplier with complaints performance, achieving a ~45% increase in same day resolutions, through customer journey mapping, input analysis, and process optimisation.
In the next instalment of our customer experience blog series, we’ll focus on people and performance management, exploring the impact of this on customer perceptions.
Lauren leads our clients through Operational Excellence, Lean Transformations and Continuous Improvement activity.View Profile