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Optimizing customer engagement in smart meter deployments

February 2011 | 40 pages | ID: O6EAA1D25A2EN

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As the earliest deployments of smart metering reach completion and a raft of new deployments are starting, it has become clear that possibly the most important element of smart meters – the customers – is at risk of being overlooked. This report looks at some early experience of utilities in their customer engagement strategies, and provides recommendations for all parties in the metering process.

Features and benefits
  • This report includes case studies of best and worst practice in consumer enagagement in smart meter deployments.
  • This report includes detailed recommendations for consumer engagement both in the short and long term.

Ovum believes that there are two types of customer engagement required for a successful smart meter deployment: short-term awareness building and long-term engagement that ensures the participation of the customer base. While the former ameliorates initial fears of smart meters, the latter ensures consumption patterns are changed for good.

When customer engagement is done well, utilities have few complaints to deal with. When it is done badly, problems escalate. The net result of poorly executed customer engagement prior to the installation visit is considerably more complaints to manage, often of a trivial nature, and costs of customer engagement increase significantly.

Ovum recommends regulators, consumer groups, utilities, and their partners all work together to optimize communications channels to ensure that initial customer acceptance of smart meters is high, and that long-term consumption behavior is changed so that smart meters deliver the promises of consumer benefits.

Your key questions answered
  • Find out how a poorly executed customer engagement program can have a negatiove effect on your smart meter deployment.
  • Learn from examples of best practice in customer engagement programs, and how they have benefited the utility.
  • Read Ovum's recommendations on customer engagement and roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders in the metering process.

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