Energy industry gets mobile to improve customer satisfaction, worker productivity

More energy companies are using mobile devices to communicate with customers, improve worker productivity and safety and monitor energy equipment, such as oil rigs and pipelines.

According to a survey of energy retailers by IDC, these companies are communicating more often with customers through their mobile devices, either through text messages or mobile applications.

In Western Europe, energy firms expect to communicate with their customers through texting 19.5 percent of the time; call centers, 19.5 percent; mobile applications, 16.2 percent; paper bills, 7.3 percent; in-home displays, 6 percent; electronic bills, 4.7 percent; and social media, 3.8 percent.

"By accommodating customers' preferred communication channels, utilities have a higher success rate of informing and engaging their customers, often enhancing satisfaction. In Western Europe, energy suppliers expect to communicate with their customers primarily via their mobile devices, either through texts/SMS or via mobile applications," says Gaia Gallotti, research manager of IDC Energy Insights.

In addition to customer communication, the energy industry uses mobile devices to increase workforce productivity and safety, capture data more efficiently and maximize asset performance, notes a Thorn Technologies blog.

For example, mobile apps are being used by oil and gas firms in the energy development processes. "These processes involve many types of magnetic and seismic sensors that help workers identify and evaluate potential sources of hydrocarbons on land and underwater ... Now all of this can be performed on a tablet, and as conditions change, the data can be simultaneously captured and altered in near real-time," the blog notes.

In addition, oil well blueprints and project plans can be digitized for use on mobile devices, and apps can be used for quality and performance monitoring of oil and gas equipment, such as pipelines and drills.

"Additional uses [of mobile apps] include safety reporting, protective equipment checklists, work order management, labor management, and many other data collection applications," the blog adds.

For more:
- check out IDC's release
- read the Thorn Technologies blog

Related Articles:
Utilities use mobile apps to educate consumers about energy consumption
Utilities investing in mobility to boost productivity
Infographic: Utilities traffic makes up close to 18 percent of mobile data usage in North America