Utilities Should Continue Leveraging Remote Customer Engagement Strategies After COVID-19 to Maintain Strong Relationships

Remote customer engagement strategies primarily target customer-sited DER applications in the residential sector, but can be applied to commercial and industrial customers

Mar 24, 2021

A new report from Guidehouse Insights analyzes the acceleration of digital transformation for grid operators and their partners during the COVID-19 pandemic and provides remote engagement strategies to enroll customer-sited distributed energy resources (DER) going forward.

COVID-19 introduced fundamental shifts in DER-related communications from utilities to customers by eliminating workers on customer properties and leveraging devices already present. Emerging digital opportunities are expected to expand following the pandemic, and utilities and their partners should position themselves for a virtually engaged customer of the future. Click to tweet: According to a new report from @WeAreGHInsights, utilities should continue to leverage remote customer engagement strategies in a post-COVID-19 world to maintain strong customer relationships.

“In 2021, stakeholders understand that remote customer engagement, which inherently relies on virtual interaction and embraces digitization, will likely last well beyond the pandemic,” says Neil Strother, principal research analyst with Guidehouse Insights. “Opportunities for remote customer engagement primarily target residential customers and include revamped home energy reports, remote audits, and thermal mapping. These solutions are matched by developments, such as augmented reality, designed to remotely engage commercial and industrial customers.”

Where there is an absence of DER, remote customer engagement strategies can also catalyze the customer journey and demonstrate the benefits of relevant DER-related solutions from smart thermostats to fleet electrification and automated behind-the-meter (BTM) asset management, according to the report.

Going forward, Guidehouse Insights recommends that utilities embrace cost savings to drive increased revenue, that solutions vendors repurpose residential remote customer engagement for commercial and industrial customers, that program managers design a customer journey arch to maintain high engagement, that partners collaborate to customize with quality-controlled data, and that implementers tailor customer-sensitive messaging to customers’ current situation.

The report, Remote Engagement Strategies to Enroll Customer-Sited DER, analyzes the acceleration of grid operators’ and their partners’ digital transformation following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report assesses pivots in marketing and outreach language and the new opportunities brought to customers through remote engagement solutions. Drawing on examples from real-world solutions providers, the report looks at how applications developed as focus shifted to the residential customer segment and how they can benefit C&I customers as the workforce returns toward centralized work. The report closes with suggestions for successful continuity of RCE in a post COVID-19 world. An executive summary of the report is available for free download on the Guidehouse Insights website.


Lindsay Funicello-Paul



*The information contained in this press release concerning the report, Remote Engagement Strategies to Enroll Customer-Sited DER, is a summary and reflects the current expectations of Guidehouse Insights based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Guidehouse Insights nor Guidehouse undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.