Customers have a choice when it comes to their electricity provider. Source: Shutterstock

Customers have a choice when it comes to their electricity provider. Source: Shutterstock

Do energy companies such as PacificLight need to worry about CX?

RESIDENTS of Singapore have recently acquired the power to choose who provides energy to their homes and offices as a result of the creation of the Open Electricity Market.

This means that energy companies such as PacificLight must be more careful about the customer experience (CX) they provide — now more than ever before — as customers could potentially move to a competitor.

Traditionally, energy companies have had incredibly limited interactions with their customers. Now, with customers asking questions about energy creation, management, and sustainability, and expecting more information and communication, the industry is changing quite rapidly.

Tech Wire Asia recently caught up with PacificLight Retail General Manager Geraldine Tan to learn about the company’s approach to CX in this new digital age.

“CX is a key differentiating factor for PacificLight which helps us to thrive in a competitive environment.”

Tan and her team have recently devoted a lot of time to ensure that customers are delighted at every stage of their journey and lifecycle — and have designed IT systems to support their ambitions.

“Our whole business process is centered on providing an end-to-end seamless service to our customers. This entails deployment of experienced and well-trained customer officers in the front end, and a sophisticated IT system at the backend.

“We required a range of new software solutions to support our CX such as implementing a new customer relationship management (CRM) system, online sign-up portal, cloud-based telephone system with call centers and call-flow (IVRS) configurations, as well as integration with our existing systems accounting and risk management systems.”

Since Singapore’s residential electricity market has only recently been liberalised, Tan says that the company is strongly focused on educating customers and helping them understand the local electricity supply and provision landscape.

PacificLight also helps customers learn about the factors to consider when choosing retailers as well as the steps involved in switching retailers.

“With the launch of the Open Electricity Market (OEM) in Singapore, we observed that many individuals were keen to switch retailers but did not know how to go about doing so, or were unsure of the plan that would work best for them.

“Hence, PacificLight sought to help educate and provide insightful data and information to potential customers and the general public.”

Obviously, being seen as a company that proactively reaches out and provides support is refreshing for customers who have previously tried to reach out (in vain) to their energy companies for help.

It can also provide customers with just the right amount of motivation to make the switch.

Customer trust and satisfaction key to CX success

CX is often measured by metrics such as the Net Promoter Score (NPS) or Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), which is why business leaders often choose to focus on earning the customer’s trust and ensuring their satisfaction through their digital touchpoints and retail interactions.

“Establishing consumer trust takes time and effort but has always been a key focus.”

Tan says that earning the customer’s trust isn’t easy. PacificLight spends time to understand as well as anticipate customers’ demands and designs innovative solutions to meet service expectations with integrity.

Tan emphasizes that her retail and IT teams work hand-in-hand to consistently improve and upgrade the company’s existing energy offerings in order to provide more benefits and convenience to customers — which shows an inclination to provide value and goes a long way to earn the customer’s trust.

“Customer satisfaction is a key corporate mission that spans the entire organization. Our business processes and products are geared towards meeting this corporate mission.

“Customers’ needs are always evolving and we, therefore, have to continuously look for ways to improve efficiency and increase our value to customers.”

While Tan says that PacificLight understands that the final decision rests solely in the hands of its customers, the company aims to educate, inform, and support them via multiple channels such as its social media presence and its customer service hotline.

Further, Tan reveals that the company’s sales teams are trained to not only represent the company’s values but also to communicate effectively.

“We understand the importance of consistent service standards at every engagement point with the customers. To do this, we ensure each of our staff goes through vigorous training, supplemented with regular refreshment programs.”

While PacificLight or any energy company might not be perfect, it seems like the company is making a wholehearted effort to win over customers.

Seeing how the Singapore government’s efforts are empowering everyday customers to make smarter choices, PacificLight’s efforts are only indicative of what the entire industry needs to do in order to win the support and continued loyalty of their customers.