Last week, six members of the Simple Energy team hopped on a plane – destination Amsterdam – for European Utility Week. The conference was three days full of presentations and meetings with 80+ utility companies from around the globe. We chatted about the industry and its future, while dabbling a bit in some Dutch beer. Our own Justin Segall took the stage and spoke on how utilities are applying behavioral science and consumer loyalty strategies to maximize customer engagement and reduce churn. The turnout was fantastic and the audience was incredibly engaged. It was a great opportunity for us to deliver the Simple Energy mission to motivate people to save energy.
The entire Simple Energy team had an incredible time being immersed in the industry we’re all so passionate about. Here are the three things from European Utility Week that stuck with us the most:
1. Customer Engagement is Getting Attention Across Europe. Throughout the show, we kept running into attendees who were talking about customer engagement more than we’ve heard at past conferences. There was an increased mindshare on how to gain new customers, how to engage them, and how to maintain them.
2. Customers Want Rapport, Not Reports. Many of the utilities we spoke with at the conference are starting to reevaluate traditional data display. It’s not clear that data itself is driving value for customers. Many expressed to us that they would like to see data used to drive customer actions in a sustained way, instead of just awareness through reports.
3. No One Has Mastered Loyalty Programs or Web Shops. Standalone loyalty programs and referral web shops have all provided mixed results to date. Many of the utilities we spoke with see the potential value for both customers and utilities in these types of offerings, but have not yet been able to deploy these programs in a way that has a significant impact on customer retention or increased margin per customer.
Check out more about European Utility Week 2014 here, and let us know what you think of the above takeaways in the comments section below.