Customer Experience without Customer Contact: DSOs Adapting to a Supplier Centric Market : A multiple case study of Swedish DSOs
Sammanfattning: Structural changes are looming in the Swedish electricity system. Underlying forces pushing for industry practices to transform are sustainability goals, digitalisation and free market ambitions. Swedish electricity laws are changing to incorporate the EU directive Clean Energy Package, which promotes an increased use of demand-side flexibility, and Nordic regulators’ ambition to harmonise Nordic electricity markets, which includes the introduction of a supplier centric market model. Amid the changes lies the DSOs’ societal obligations to distribute electricity to whomever needs it, where and whenever it is needed, in a reasonable fashion and at a low cost. It is important to DSOs to maintain satisfactory customer experience throughout and after the changes. Customer experience is significant both as a part of DSOs’ societal obligations and as a cost management measure. This study investigates how DSOs in Sweden can maintain a positive and seamless customer experience for electricity consumers in respect to the changing market conditions. A supplier centric market model will to a large extent transform DSOs from B2C to B2B organisations. Subsequently, DSOs will have less direct customer contact while information exchanges continue to grow at an ever-increasing rate, partially to satisfy a greater use of demand-side flexibility. Most customers expect a secure and reliable electricity supply, user friendly information provision and efficient resolution of issues. DSOs will primarily, in the new market landscape, provide a good customer experience by focusing on their core business - the grid - and interact indirectly with customers through partner-owned touch points. The relationships with electricity suppliers and different subcontractors will be increasingly important to customer experience. Deepened B2B interactions require proper data quality and automated communication, and if handled well will yield improved electricity security, quicker resolution of customers’ issues, and user friendly information provision. The Clean Energy Package and the supplier centric market model will likely lead to improved conditions to operate and use the grid as data is standardised, more available and incentivised to be used. However, incorporating these new laws into organisations’ processes might offer a challenge as change often proves straining.
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