Duke Energy Puts Customers at the Center of Its Technology Transformation

When Hurricanes Michael and Florence hit in fall 2018, getting updates on the status of their utility service became critical for millions of people who had lost power. In today’s age, being out of power with little or no communication isn’t good enough for most customers who now expect instant and transparent access to all types of information from their service providers.

“We know today that customers want to be engaged,” said Retha Hunsicker, VP, CIS – customer connect solutions at Duke Energy. “They are comparing us to so many other industries where situational transparency exists. They have a lot of control and choice.”

Building Tech to Connect with Customers

Building better connections with customers is one reason Duke Energy is going through a five-year technology transformation project it calls Customer Connect. The gas and electric utility that serves customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee is working to excel at that demand. “We are getting much better at knowing the frequency or when to communicate with customers,” Hunsicker said.

Hunsicker and her team knew they’d need to start with customer data. The team integrated more than 14 disparate databases so they could look for insights within the utility’s population of nearly 24 million customers. As soon as they had access to the data, the team started analyzing it. And what they found was not what they expected.

Surprises Within the Data

Historically, Duke Energy operated under the assumption that customers were satisfied with their service if the power came on when they flipped the switch. The data they are now analyzing tells a different story.

Hunsicker shared details with Ann Marie Gray, VP of content for ASUG, about how the utility company is building a system that will not only serve the demands of today’s customers but will be future looking enough to help the utility evolve as new business opportunities come along.

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