The 12 most important things you can do today for better customer engagement


By: SGN Staff


Judith Schwartz is one of the country's top experts in customer engagement. Recently, she prepared a report gathering the advice and best practices from a recent workshop that featured 75 experts from utilities, technology and consulting companies, commissions, and trade groups. She gave me permission to share the summary. You'll find it below, or  click the link to read the full report. - By Jesse Berst


1. The executive team (or a powerful executive sponsor) is authentically committed to effective customer engagement. Even the most dedicated and knowledgeable managers, directors, and VPs cannot make the necessary adjustments to an established paradigm without leadership support and "tone from the top.”


2. Leadership means providing adequate resources to the teams and programs executing a clear vision. Ideally, that long-term vision is shared with local regulators or oversight boards. Outreach efforts that include Commissioners and staff makes that synergy much more likely.


3. Interactive exchanges where all stakeholders and customers see the utility is listening to them become part of the company’s DNA. Focus groups and surveys, while valuable and critical, are not a substitute for shared, empathic, and inspiring experiences that occur on a frequent basis.


4. Customers (and stakeholders) will be more likely to support a goal, vision, program or investment if they feel like they have had input into and ownership of its design.


5. There are a number of co-design or human-centered design methodologies that have proven to be effective in many industries. Innovation will only occur if the utility and regulators are willing to try new approaches.

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