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What do modern utility consumers need in this digital era?

Technology has reshaped the definition of services. What earlier used to be a simple transaction has changed toward a more proactive experience. Consumers are longing for more, and service providers are looking to engage their customers better. Even utility enterprises, such as electricity, water, cooking gas and so on, are working toward providing an engaging experience to the customers.

Consumer satisfaction above all

In a world where IoT platforms are connecting your things irrespective of their functions, the value of instantaneous information has risen multifold. The digital era has ushered in the trend of information being available at fingertips on-demand. For instance, modern utility consumers like to know their consumption levels at every possible interval, such as by year, month, week, day, hour, minute and even second. Yet, the need to maintain consistency in standards to achieve customer delight is imperative through all this hoopla.

Proactive consumers

End consumers are more proactive today. The advent of smart technology has brought the world to their palms. There are apps and web services available for almost everything — to access information, pay bills, book tickets, monitor consumption, keep track of tasks and know how you drive, among others. To provide better customer service and retain customers, utility service providers are coming up with innovative ideas.

Nothing works better than keeping consumers happy. If you provide live consumption data through mobile apps, then your consumers will be aware of their monthly consumption. Also, if they receive tips for efficient usage through various alarms, then you will have a satisfied utility consumer for life.

Cutthroat competitive markets

The best example today has to be cellular service providers from across the globe. In a race to gain the largest piece of the market, every provider is coming up with a new scheme, providing better value at lower cost. However, the real winners are those who are going the extra mile to provide better customer service. This includes providing information around data usage, number of minutes used, current bill and next billing cycle, new plans or services available, and status of requested services. Almost all service providers have web or mobile apps, using which consumers can access the required information and take intelligent actions.

modern-utility-consumers-needSimilarly, utility consumers look for information, like overall utility consumption history, budget and billing in real time, for a detailed understanding of their usage. With the technological prowess and internet of things, this has been made possible with smart metering systems. The smart meters installed at homes or companies provide meter data in real time, which is used to derive consumption patterns. Consumers can use mobile applications to monitor real-time usage, customize alerts on overconsumption, leakage and meter failure, view consumption details and make payments from anywhere at any time. As an instructive example, check how our team of IoT consultants helped a leading smart manufacturing and water utility service provider develop an Azure-based smart water metering technology. It can handle data from 500,000 smart meters and provides real-time and predictive insights to create customer awareness towards water conservation.

Consumers are definitely the king. And utility providers can go to any extent to make their utility consumers happy. It should be interesting to see that through all these nuances, what are utility providers going to come up with next?

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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What are some of the challenges you've faced as a network administrator?
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You should write a book!. Superb story!!
Many of the points you hinted on are of extreme importance especially the office politics part. There are so many things that should not be taken personally at work--alot of it is because IT personell get paid more are 'pre-judged'.

Keep up the good work.
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Well now I think its 10 layers.
Physical
Data Link
Network
Transport
Session
Presentation
Application
User
Budget
Politics
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Absolutely! Office politics is very important. There are so many things and terminologies of an IT people that is not understood by users so you have to explain those things the way they would understand. Otherwise, they will feel arrogant 'bout it.
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