From ‘Nice to Have’ to ‘Need’: Why Your Utility Needs a Digital Transformation

Ran out of coffee? No problem. Order it on Amazon and fill a new pot of fresh coffee that same day. When a household runs out of an item, replacing those products can be as easy as talking to a smart home device, like Siri or Alexa. Within seconds, products are instantly ready to be shipped and delivered that very day.

With over 300 million active Amazon users, the “Amazon effect” has formed the phenomenon of instant gratification. Increased expectations for rapid delivery are forcing companies to change their business models and adapt to the new market reality.

It is not the companies that are driving this change. This change is being driven by the customer.

Exceeding Expectations

Imagine having to download and print a PDF, fill out a form, then fax or deliver that to an Amazon office. It seems like a rather time-consuming and frustrating process, right?

How does your organization meet the growing needs of your members in a digital landscape? Do your members have efficient and easy access to your services?

Today’s mix of cloud computing, mobile devices, and technologies are manifesting into cooperatives and community-owned utility organizations as both an opportunity and challenge. Growing expectations require organizations to deliver and receive digital information and services, anytime, anywhere and on any device.

An iPhone showcasing an online form to establish electric service for Clearwater Power.
Idaho-based electric cooperative, Clearwater Power increased their utilization of online forms during the COVID19 pandemic to streamline operations while their lobby was closed to the public. Since then, their processes have become more efficient and a more engaging experience for their members has made completing tasks easier than ever before.

Reimagining the Customer and Member Experience

Building for the future requires a digital mindset. To keep up with the pace of change in technology, cooperatives and community-owned utility organizations must adopt modern tools and technologies. Fulfilling members’ digital demands emphasizes an organization’s commitment to a member-centric business model.

Reimagining the member experience within a digital landscape unlocks opportunities, enables high-quality services, and empowers members. Here’s why:

Unlock new technologies and tools to streamline services and improve services.

  • Seize the opportunity to manage services, data, and interactions in a smart, secure, and efficient way. A fully functional website can ease system operations.

Enable members to access high-quality digital utility information and services anywhere, anytime, on any device.

  • Members expect reliable information at the palm of their hand. An information-centric website can provide important information to members, minimizing the need for calls or in-office visits.

Empower members to complete tasks with efficiency and ease.

  • Consider those who typically work from 9am to 5pm—the same hours a utility office runs. Oftentimes, these members struggle to complete necessary tasks in-person during office hours. A member-centric website has the capability of breaking down this barrier by allowing members to complete important tasks online, hassle-free.
The webpage to establish new electric service for Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative is showcased on an Apple iPad Pro
After launching their new website design in September 2022, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) utilizes the Forms App in Powerful’s Signature Web App Collection to collect rebate information, establish new service, process scholarship applications, disconnect service, claim capital credits and more.

Creative Solutions

Powerful’s team of trusted web experts are key partners to support your organization’s digital transformation efforts. Powerful’s exclusive collection of web apps have the power to leverage the unique capabilities of technology. The Forms Web App benefits both the member and the organization. The benefits of completely customizable forms include, but are not limited to:

  • No programming knowledge needed to develop a form
  • Members can complete tasks such as establishing new service, calculating new construction costs or fulfilling a rebate request
  • Various field options like long answers, radio buttons, drop-down lists, multiple choice, file uploads, and more
  • Easily track forms in a backend database

Take the Leap to Transform

Technology has the power to make a real difference in people’s daily lives. Does your utility website serve your members well? To make a positive impact within your community, take your website to the next level with the help of Powerful.