The New Energy Consumer: The Economics of dissatisfaction

Utilities should eliminate key consumer dissatisfiers while focusing on operational imperatives.


To succeed amid uncertainty and disruption, utilities need to remain flexible. The starting point: eliminating key consumer dissatisfiers while focusing on operational imperatives.

As market forces redefine the utilities industry, providers need to redefine themselves to meet the changing demands of consumers. Many utilities are not equipped to respond effectively to the change and disruption that defines the evolving marketplace, and the status quo is accelerating dissatisfaction among consumers.

In recent years, utilities have had to cut costs while continuing to improve operations and satisfy consumers. Based on Accenture’s New Energy Consumer research, The New Energy Consumer Handbook, and our experience working with utilities, these are positively related and self-reinforcing goals.

Accenture’s The New Energy Consumer Handbook draws upon four consecutive years of end-consumer research, analysis of consumer and technology trends, insights from leading energy providers, cross-industry experience and Accenture’s knowledge of managing utility customer operations.

Streamlining operations and creating a culture of continuous improvement can enhance customer care and reduce associated costs. By focusing on the things that dissatisfy consumers, utilities can reduce their controllable operational costs by as much as 30 percent.


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Key Findings

From broken processes and poorly communicated messages to unmet expectations, failing on the basics can significantly impact customer satisfaction. Dissatisfiers point to opportunities to improve the customer experience and often highlight critical operational inefficiencies that drain resources and consumer goodwill.

Getting the basics of the customer experience right is critical, but there are gaps between what consumers say they want in terms of service and what they feel utilities are providing.

Accenture believes that by focusing on fundamentals while creating a base for more nimble, flexible operations, utilities will be better prepared for the dynamics of the new energy marketplace, where reducing consumer dissatisfiers will matter more than ever.


Greg Guthridge, managing director, Accenture Utilities, shares insights into the economics of dissatisfaction.

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