In brief

In brief

  • Focusing just on customer experience (CX) is no longer enough for utilities to succeed.
  • Utilities must take a new approach and organize the whole enterprise around the delivery of exceptional experiences to customers.
  • We call it the Business of Experience (BX) a new category of leadership that savvy CEOs and their leadership teams will embrace.
  • Our research shows businesses that reoriented around practices that we defined as important for BX grow more than their CX-only counterparts.

An experience renaissance to reignite growth.

The energy ecosystem is at an inflection point in the transition to a decarbonized future. Powerful forces are driving this change. It’s evident in new market entrants, evolving policy and regulatory models, and investor focus on the green future. And at the heart of this transition is the evolving energy consumer.

The structure of almost everything we do—how and what people buy, how and where they work, how they interact with others—has been upended by world events in 2020. The consumer behavior shifts we’re seeing today are not a blip. They are likely to stay with us for a long time, some likely forever. Some have been in motion for years, and many have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

And right now, an experience renaissance is afoot – one that is galvanizing utilities companies to push beyond the CX philosophy and organize the whole business around the delivery of exceptional experiences. These experiences must respond to customers’ new, often unmet and frequently changing needs and enable them to achieve their desired outcomes. This is the Business of Experience (BX).

It’s time for utilities to reimagine business through the lens of experience.

An evolution of CX, BX is a more holistic approach that allows utilities organizations to become customer-obsessed and reignite growth. Whereas CX was limited to the chief marketing officer’s (CMO) or chief operating officer’s (COO) purview, BX is in the board room as a CEO priority because it ties back to every aspect of a company’s operations. BX is very much a new category of leadership that savvy CEOs and their leadership teams will embrace as we move deeper into the coming decade.

From CX (optimizing customer touchpoints around product and service) to BX (solving or human needs around a purpose)

An innovative approach to boost business

In our research, we spoke to 1,550 executives (nearly a quarter of them CEOs) in 21 countries across 22 industries, including respondents from utilities. We found that the organizations that embraced and reoriented around practices that we have defined as important for BX grow their profitability year-on-year by at least six times over their industry peers.

On average, BX leaders outperform CX-oriented companies in year-on-year profitability growth* by:

Accenture Interactive identified the top 15% BX companies based on their survey responses to questions around BX capabilities.

*Accenture Interactive identified the top 15% BX companies based on their survey responses to questions around BX capabilities. Using publicly available financial data, Accenture Interactive calculated industry-indexed EBIT for each company for 1-, 3-, 5- and 7-year CAGR, and then compared BX companies to their peers.

BX doing

Through talking to clients who are doing or at least aspiring to do BX, we’ve identified four winning ways to help you realize its promise. Our research shows that BX leaders (i.e., companies that are independently performing well in terms of financial growth and business cycle endurance) are far more likely to take the following approaches, enabling them to consistently outperform peers who don’t:

  1. Obsess about customer needs—and use that as your compass.
  2. Make experience innovation an everyday habit.
  3. Expand the experience remit across your organization.
  4. Sync the tech, data and human agendas.

The incredible impact of meaningful business

Every utility company today is looking at how to manage its way through the economic and health crises unfolding around us and come out on the other end not only stronger, but also poised to compete in what many are predicting will be a robust decade. Each utility must examine and pivot its business to find new ways to offer meaningful experiences to customers who are also grappling with many of the same challenges.

There’s no better time than now for utilities to discover what a BX versus CX approach can do for your business. We believe it will ignite growth and deliver the outcomes desired by your customers and for your business, even as uncertainty continues to swirl. Is it easy? No. But it’s essential.
BX may be a significant mindset shift, but we believe that over the years, it’s going to be an incredible engine for meaningful disruption, market differentiation and customer satisfaction.
We can show you how.

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