Helping an IOU become a “Utility of the Future”

Business Issue

Investor-owned utilities (IOUs) need to identify current and future customer needs around initiatives of strategic importance to support “Utility of the Future” planning. A large multistate IOU approached Escalent with four goals:

  • Understand customer awareness and interest in specific offerings to inform its decision to become a specialized service provider.
  • Reveal interest and anticipated uptake of home automation, solar PV and electric vehicles.
  • Learn how customers prefer to get these offerings and what they expect.
  • Discover what new products or services it needs to invest in to cement future customer relationships.

What We Did

Escalent launched a large study with residential customers based on a series of questions regarding current ownership or enrollment and interest level. We assigned each customer two of three topical deep-dive sections using a discrete choice modeling (DCM) exercise. This allowed us to pinpoint key reasons for and barriers to purchase for each future offering and inform optimal design.

Result

Our client got direct voice-of-the-customer feedback, detailing concerns and preferences on the strategic priorities under consideration. In addition, we developed a profile of customers based on how they would like to view our client in the future—Basic Provider, Trusted Advisor or Innovator—as well as insight into which customers found each future service most appealing. The product development and marketing teams have put the DCM insight into action, designing optimal offerings targeted to specific customers, and our client also assembled a new CX team composed of cross-operational teams to begin rolling out key offerings.

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