A recent study by Pike Research examines social media use by utility customers, finding that two-thirds of all respondents currently use some type of social networking service. Utilities who successfully engage their customers on what is rapidly becoming a mainstream platform will have greater customer satisfaction than those who fail to adapt to this development.
“Pike Research believes that now is the right time for companies in the utility industry to incorporate social media as part of their broader customer engagement programs,” the study concludes. “Developing a social media presence and strategy at present will allow utilities to experiment, grow, and learn.”
To ensure future success, utilities do need to start leveraging the power of social media now. Although the Pike Research report focused primarily on how utilities can use social media as a messaging platform, there is an even larger opportunity for utilities who understand the power of leveraging social media as a motivational tool. Going beyond messaging to motivation is the real power of social media.
Simple Energy allows utilities to leverage the full force of social media by adding the power of game mechanics to social networks, transforming social media from a messaging channel into a motivational tool. Rather than thinking of social media as another connection between the utility and the customer, in other words, utilities should view it as an opportunity to create connections between customers, motivating them to engage socially in their own energy use.
Quite simply, customers who can view their energy data on social media channels and easily compare this data with other customers are more interested in that data, and what they can do to make their data better compared with others. By translating energy use data into a simple scoring system that the customer can easily understand, and then placing this score in an online social setting that compares scores between customers, Simple Energy motivates them to take action to improve their score by reducing their energy use.
Using social networks and game mechanics in this way, the utility can motivate customers to take an interest in their own energy use, removing the need to send constant messages that are often simply ignored. In fact, customers will be sending these messages themselves, on behalf of the utility, to all of their social media contacts, every time they share information about their energy use online. Customers will also feel empowered to understand and control their own energy use, and be happy that their utility has given them this new opportunity.
To develop a successful social media customer engagement strategy, utilities should fully understand the real potential of social networks and implement a solution that works to motivate their customers, not just send another message on a different channel. Contact Simple Energy today to learn more about how to implement a successful social media strategy and increase customer satisfaction.