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Business in the On-Demand Era

“Any way you want it” is more than just a line from a Journey song – in an Amazon era, it’s the mantra for today’s consumers. They can get almost anything they want with the tap of a finger. It’s that “right now” customer experience, and companies, no matter the industry, are finding ways to adapt to the consumer’s on-demand needs, even in the utility industry.

In June, energy leaders Adrian Tuck, CEO of Tendril, and Colin Lamb, product development team lead for Xcel Energy, shared how the utility industry is adapting to the on-demand, tech-driven market at EPIC (Energy Professionals in Colorado), an event in partnership with the Colorado Energy Coalition to share trends and discuss the latest in policy and regulation for Colorado’s diverse energy industry.

Check out our favorite takeaways from Tuck and Lamb and how you can apply them to your business – no matter your industry.

Data matters. What data is collected and how you use it to better serve your customers is critical – but, you’ve got to know what information you need to improve your customer experience. In the aftermath of Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and GDPR, customers are cautious about the information they share with companies. As a business, you need to first establish trust.

“It’s got to be right in order to keep that trust,” Lamb said. “[Consumers] trust utilities to keep the lights on and the water running.”

And, having valuable data can help you market to existing and potential customers. Tuck noted customers in his industry are twice as likely to own solar panels if they own a dog. Data allows you to consider a different market then you might not have considered.

Check out these tips for how to harness the power of big data for your business.

Make convenience your competitive advantage. In an age where most consumers are tech savvy, you want to think about how to provide that value to a customer. Google recently found that mobile searches related to “same-day shipping” have grown 120 percent since 2015, showcasing how consumers are opting in for convenience.

“It’s customer-first thinking,” Tuck said. “Give consumers a simple choice to match their lifestyle.”

Consumers are moving fast and technology is moving even faster. With its ability to disrupt any industry, it’s important to keep your eyes open to changes and opportunities in the marketplace. The utilities industry is looking to technology to change their customer experience from developing two-way communication when customers are on vacation to adjusting their utilities to reduce use and in the end save the customer money. The hope is to “have a two-way partnership [with the consumer] where we can push efficiency with the growing technology,” Lamb said.

Share with us how you do business in an on-demand era.

Laura James is the marketing and communications coordinator for the Denver Metro Chamber.