Do you hear that? That voice? That’s your customer. Listen to them, and it will lead to a big payback — literally.
In every good relationship, communication is key. Your spouse, children, friends, co-workers and yes, even a utility company can make a good relationship great with improved communication. And to the delight of their customers, some are doing just that.
This just in: business customer satisfaction hit its highest mark since 2009, according to the recently released JD Power report 2015 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study. It gets better for you, dear utility — consumer grid defection is highly unlikely, the latest report from Moody’s Investors Service revealed.
The impetus — at least one of them — is increased communication, with satisfaction rates among those customers who receive some 74 points higher than those who did not recall receiving communication, the report states. It’s a start, but there’s more work ahead.
Action and consequence
These new reports are encouraging for utilities enabling their customers, and our stats prove it: 80% of customers from our utility partnership programs report that due to personalized messaging and communication form their utility, they have an enlightened understanding of their household energy usage.
Getting a bit nerdy, these results are aggregated from the average annual behavioral savings, which range from 4-6.8%, and delivering 2-3 times the results of report based behavioral energy efficiency programs.
Taking the conversation beyond email
If you’re doing a stellar job at cranking out those email blasts using an automated distribution list, bravo! But don’t stop here – there is more magic to cast. Customer engagement is crucial for utilities to be successful. Why? Business models are changing. Consumers are savvy, and take time to research and educate themselves on their options. If you make this process easier for them, you will be rewarded.
From email to paper report and text messaging, every last word should be customized, useful and easy-to-understand. Here are some tips to keep in mind when crafting effective messages:
- Use energy insights to build the foundation of the message.
- Remain dynamic and creative — it keeps interest and relevancy.
- We are all different, and what attracts us is different. Serve up information in a variety of ways.
- Keep it fun, relevant and easy-to-understand.
- Stay simple.
Your conversations with them must be a give and take. What we mean by this is you must reward them for lending their ear to you (or eyes) – so think with a purpose before you hit send. Get that message perfect, send it at the right time, and tailor it to customer’s individual needs. No one likes to be spoken to as if they are just one of a million.
According to JD Power, communication satisfaction has steadily increased during the past six years, climbing to 592 in 2014 from 554 in 2009 (on a 1,000 point scale), while communication awareness has improved to 51% last year from 48% in 2013.
History is in the making – utilities are beginning to adopt an engaging communication model, and customers are perking up to the opportunity to shift usage behaviors with increased awareness and knowledge. In turn, utility company’s have satisfied customers! It’s a win-win-win for the customer, utility and the environment.