Ahead of his talk at this year’s Utility Week Energy Customer Conference, we caught up with Randolph Brazier, Head of innovation & development at Energy Networks Association.

Here's what he has to say...

Q. How do you think customer expectations of energy companies have changed?
Customers are beginning to become more aware of their energy networks and expect more engagement. That includes both domestic customers as well as businesses who may be looking to connect to the networks. Over the last few years, networks have been making responded well and made huge strides in improving their service to take these changes into account.

Q. What are the emerging trends in customer experience?
The major trend affecting customer experience has been the arrival of digital technologies, including smart meters and artificial intelligence. Providing customers with up to date and accurate information has become more important than ever. This includes providing visibility of network needs, which will allow customers to understand where they can provide services to networks. The network companies have been developing holistic digital strategies to improve customer experience – this will include how they use social media to drive positive engagement and support their customers. Going forward, Electric Vehicles will increase customer understanding and interaction with electricity networks, as customers are much more engaged with their cars.

Q. Why do you think customer satisfaction levels in energy are often lower than in other industries?
Network companies understand the importance of providing the public with an excellent service and their record reflects that. Both gas and electricity networks’ average customer service scores are close to 9/10 which actually puts them higher than many other industries. However, network companies are not complacent and are constantly innovating to accommodate new technologies and customer demands and keep their customers at the heart of their businesses.

Q. What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Utility Week Energy Customer Conference?
I’m looking forward to listening to and sharing best practice about customer experience with some of the best practitioners in the country. This is a great opportunity to hear the range of views and make sure that customers remain at the heart of our thinking.