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3 Steps for the Energy Industry to Pivot to the Experience Economy

3 Steps for the Energy Industry to Pivot to the Experience Economy

Source: Pink Petro/Fred Agho

There’s an undeniable shift in energy among today’s corporations. CEOs everywhere are beginning to redefine how they’re positioning themselves. A recent CNBC article has been one of many to start outlining this change and explain why it’s happening.

Gone are the days when shareholder value was the main focus. Now, CEOs are prioritizing business goals around “investing in employees, delivering value to customers, dealing ethically with suppliers and supporting outside communities.”

Instead of focusing solely on shareholder value, organizations looking to retain their competitive edge should seek alignment between shareholders, customer experience and employee experience. The result? A necessary realignment of values and shift in culture toward the experience economy.

Energizing Customers and Employees

This need to change rings particularly true for key players in the energy industry. Their biggest value proposition and potential for customer retention ride not on the product itself, but on the experience the product ultimately provides.

From the moment a field service worker files a quote, the customer journey is in full swing. And that journey remains particularly crucial in an industry where the product isn’t necessarily tangible. Assets in energy are not the product. Rather, it’s the experience energy ultimately provides and the people who drive that experience, the employees.

Creating utmost clarity in what exactly your organization is offering and then communicating this message to your employees empowers them to be company ambassadors when interacting with customers.

It’s time to pivot away from the top-heavy shareholder-driven energy culture to one driven by the customer and employee experience.

Three Steps to Pivot

So, how can energy industry leaders pivot? There are a few key steps:

  • Have Active Conversations and Engagement Around Specific Situations.

An excellent example of this is safety, a topic that comes up time and time again for customers and shareholders alike. Stakeholders want to prevent incidents and need incident data from the field to do so. They need tools to create and maintain a consistent feedback loop – from the customer to the employee to the executive decision-makers. These conversations and processes set the stage for energy industry leaders to create a company culture that is genuinely transparent. What other situations do you need to talk about with your team?

  • Engage in Real-Time Feedback When Identifying an Issue.

We need to engage with feedback and respond to it as fast as possible. The stakes for positive, quick engagement have never been higher. Today’s consumers are majority millennials – well-educated, resourceful, and with high standards. There’s no going back. Gen X and boomers are getting with the program, and Gen Z is following in the footsteps. To remain competitive, energy industry leaders must have the tools to share comments and concerns across teams in real-time.

  • Understand Where You are Driving the Most Value.

Engaging with analytics is a crucial step that saves both time and resources down the line. Understanding the data that contributes to customer behavior isn’t a choice, it’s a requirement for corporations that truly want to harness the power of their value proposition. Keeping up with data trends requires modern tools like artificial intelligence and machine learning – or else we risk having customers and employees who feel that companies are not listening to them.

Setting Up for Success

A long list of factors goes into fostering a culture of top-down communication – especially within the energy industry where the end-user doesn’t necessarily see the value down the chain. Equip employees and customers to be advocates who understand your value proposition – they’ll end up staying with you for the long haul.

Leveraging tools that capture the customer and employee experience creates an opportunity for industry leaders to understand the state of their company. The task to equally prioritize shareholder value with the customer experience and employee experience is daunting but doable with the right support.

As Brittany Schaefer, a Vice President at Medallia, described the experience economy at the GRIT Awards℠ and Best Energy Workplaces℠, “It’s about creating great experiences, having the tools to measure them, and making them better every day.  Customers build the best products. Employees build the best companies. Together we build the best brands.

Brittany Schaefer at the GRIT Awards℠ and Best Energy Workplaces

(Source: Pink Petro/Fred Agho)