EV Charging Experience is Critical to Electric Vehicle Adoption
Drivers of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles rarely, if ever, have problems refueling. They can drive up, pump, and pay with a credit card in under 5 minutes. That’s not the experience today for EV owners. One study found that 73% of European EV owners experience problems with public charging, ranging from having to wait for another driver to finish to problems with the charge point itself.
Providing a superior customer experience should be the top priority for EV charging service providers (EVSPs). With increasing government support for building out the charging infrastructure, pure-play eMobile service providers (EMSPs) and EVSPs are going to see more competition as utilities, fuel retailers, public authorities, automakers, and digital integrators come into the marketplace.
Customer experience excellence will determine the image and “stickiness” of an eMobility provider’s brand, driving customer loyalty as the importance of public charging continues to grow. Although the majority of EV drivers charge at home, followed by work, they want to be confident they can charge on the road. That’s why, as battery technology improves, “range anxiety” is being replaced with “charge anxiety.”
4 Steps to Delighted EV Owners
No matter how complex the behind-the-scenes EV charging infrastructure is, simplicity is the key when it comes to EV charging experience. An EV charging management platform that supports a customer-centric business model – and provides brandable mobile and web apps that are simple to use – will make it easy to achieve these four steps to customer satisfaction.
Step 1: Guide customers to the right EV charging experience.
Make your charge point locations – and those of your roaming partners – easy to find, via your self-service EV app and web portal. Ideally, these tools will provide important information about the location, such as type of charging available, operational status, real-time availability, whether it is in a publicly accessible space, and what’s nearby so drivers can plan what to do while waiting for the charge to complete. Customers should also be able to reserve a charger using the app or portal.
Step 2: Be reliable.
The customer’s worst nightmare is having a low battery and stopping at a broken charging station. Increase availability of your infrastructure with a charging management system that offers self-healing capabilities to resolve problems automatically and provides alerts when on-site service is necessary. Should something go wrong during the charging process, make it easy for the consumer to reach customer service directly.
Step 3: Keep customers informed during charging.
Even with increasingly faster DC charging, the time it takes to charge EVs is a barrier to consumers. Providing drivers with real-time charging status via the self-service app alleviates worry about the charging process and lets them know when to return to the vehicle. This also helps keep charging stations available for the next driver that comes along.
Step 4: Offer flexible, friction-free payment.
Keep the payment process simple while supporting a full range of payment options. Most important, ensure that cross-border authentication and paying for roaming are a seamless experience. Some EV charging providers offer tiered pricing based on such variables as time of day, subscriptions, and renewable energy sources. Make it easy for customers to understand their options and plan charging accordingly. Provide charging and billing history available in real time and give drivers the ability to resolve any issues before the billing cycle.
Build your Brand Identity Around the EV Charging Experience
With more competition coming into the EV charging market, it’s more important than ever to build a brand identity around a great EV charging experience. A smart EV charging and energy management solution focused on operational excellence and charger stability that also provides easy-to-use tools for consumers is the place to start.