David Willis, B2B Digital Product Manager at Electric Ireland, recently contributed to a webinar organised by The Business Show on Digital Evolution. David spoke alongside Peter Hendrick, CEO of National Broadband Ireland and Phil Codd, Managing Director of Expleo, in a webinar moderated by Joan Mulvihill, Digitalisation Lead at Siemens. While the discussion was across three different industries, the principles of digital transformation for businesses were the same.
Change often happens gradually, then suddenly. This is a phrase we have all heard over the past 13 months since the beginning of the pandemic. This is particularly relevant when we think of the transformation in digital services for businesses and was a key theme of this webinar.
Speaking at the webinar, David highlighted that at Electric Ireland, digital excellence, led by the needs of customers, has been a core value of the B2B business for many years.
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David noted that “When we went out and talked to business customers a few years ago, there were only about 2% of business customers who were interested in interacting with us digitally, so it has come a huge way in the last few years in terms of customer expectation of getting everything and interacting with everything online.”
The groundwork has been laid for many years for digital excellence at Electric Ireland. But the approach has always been to put the customer first and understand their needs. As Electric Ireland works with customers, from SMEs to multinationals, towards a brighter energy future, they have been at the core in guiding us to develop more products which will help them understand their energy usage.
David noted that as the past year has been challenging for many businesses, we have seen a major increase in customers looking to manage their energy usage. Not only in terms of price, but also to address environmental concerns. We know that for many SMEs hiring consultants to review their energy usage is just not feasible. As such, we have listened to the needs of businesses to develop digital solutions to manage their energy usage.
Something that Electric Ireland’s digital team has particularly focused on over the last couple of years is understanding where the energy is going and trying to give the customer a hand in only using the right amount and not wasting any of the energy that is being provided.
David added that “Digital excellence is like customer service excellence, it’s about trust, understanding needs, listening to the customer. Changing your product to what they want, not trying to change them. Being objective and trusting the customer goes a long way.”
At the core of these developments has been not only having the right technology, but the right people to best develop this technology, always with the customer at the core of the process.
What was a standout from the webinar was that whether it was providing electricity, broadband to rural Ireland, or developing the Covid tracker app, user experience is at the core of digital excellence across all organisations.
Despite all the sudden change we have encountered over the past year, we can all take comfort in the experience of adopting a more digital world and the benefits it can bring to all types of businesses. By working in partnership with our customers, we can look forward to more innovation in the future.0
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