While many utilities are now recognizing the importance of engaging with their customers, social media platforms and other methods of interaction such as email and text messages are often still primarily viewed as a messaging tool rather than a motivational opportunity. By transforming these platforms from just another way to communicate into a system that actually inspires people to take action, Simple Energy is dramatically changing how utilities and customers interact.
Although utilities can of course use online tools as an additional messaging channel to send out notifications and tips, a far more effective method of engaging with customers is to use social media as a motivational platform. Simple Energy does this by translating energy usage data into an easy and fun online game that allows people to compete with their friends and neighbors to save energy, earn points, and win prizes. Rather than the utility interacting with consumers in an effort to encourage them to save energy, this model allows customers to interact with each other in a social and fun environment, leveraging the natural human tendency to enjoy competition and reward in order to inspire real behavioral change and drive significant results.
“People are social and they like competing to win stuff,” explains Yoav Lurie, founder and CEO of Simple Energy. “Utilities can use game mechanics and social media to tap into this basic part of human nature, motivating their customers to save energy by making the process into a fun and rewarding experience. By allowing people to access this data on platforms where they are already spending their time, such as Facebook and email, utilities can make energy efficiency and demand response an easy and natural process rather than a hassle.”
Sending messages to customers via the online platforms that they are already using can be more effective than messaging via increasingly less popular channels such as the mail, but making the transition from messaging to motivation is where the most dramatic impact can be found. Messaging companies such as Opower are beginning to understand this critical distinction, but they have a long way to go in order to really make the leap. With expert advisors in behavioral economics and game mechanics, Simple Energy is the leader in this revolutionary new approach to customer engagement for utilities.