Utilities Providers: Improve Your Customer Engagement

Posted by Alexandra Gehringer on Nov 9, 2016 12:29:37 PM

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A whopping 66% of customers have not digitally engaged with their utilities provider in the past year. 41% of respondents say this is because they feel the digital experience offered by their utilities provider is downright difficult compared to other industries. 

These statistics are distressing because digitally engaged customers are more valuable to companies. They are receptive to cross-selling, are more likely to recommend their provider to others and are less expensive to serve. Right now public utilities companies are keeping themselves from maximizing these opportunities because they’re offering a sub-par digital experience. Customers are left frustrated, turned off and generally unhappy. 

A quick, easy-to-use digital portal is crucial for driving trust and eliminating frustration. And when you have an engaged and trusting customer base, it’s easier to promote energy efficient programs, home generation products and other money-saving options. 

But here’s the catch: According to a study performed by Accenture, 73% of consumers will prefer a human over a digital capability when seeking advice or looking to resolve a service issue or complaint. The same study also showed that 73% of consumers become frustrated when providers fail to offer convenient interaction methods and 59% are frustrated when they can’t access the information they want in their channel of choice. 

It’s not a huge leap to conclude from this data that consumers view human-to-human interaction as the most efficient way to get relevant, problem-solving information. But is that always true? 

Where human interaction opens the door for human inefficiency and error, digital alternatives can prevent these pitfalls while delivering the most convenient, personalized approach to customer service. The challenge for utilities companies then becomes defining what that ideal digital communication experience looks like.

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Personalized Video Optimizes the Digital Experience 

Audiovisual information, the same kind we receive when having 1:1 conversations or watching a video, is remembered 68% more reliably than text. It’s important to have a customer experience that combines the best aspects of visually driven conversation with the speed and relevance of data-driven digital solutions. Through Personalized Video, customer data can easily be used to create one-of-a-kind, ultra-engaging video experiences that drive information retention and engagement. 

And because Personalized Video can be rendered in real time, your customers will always be watching the most up-to-date information and solutions. So whether you’re sending a Personalized Video email campaign that explains a customer’s power usage or are generating user-specific video answers to questions in an online support space, your customers can be confident that they’re engaging in an efficient experience uniquely tailored to their needs. 

When you launch Personalized Video-driven self-help tools, you’ll also see money-saving business results. Empowered customers who shift their engagement to the digital space result in far less call center traffic and a drop in costly paper billing. Talk about a game changer. 

Take a look at how Pennsylvania Power & Light (PPL) engaged their customers through Personalized Video and saw a 73% video completion rate:  

Cross-Selling Energy Efficient Services

Not only does Personalized Video drive engagement, it also is a powerful trust-building tool. KEY Difference Media found that 78% of consumers will trust a brand if you create more customized content. The clear communication of important information in Personalized Video establishes transparency between the customer and the provider. Plus, when relevant information is ready to be accessed anywhere at any time, customers feel like their utilities provider is proactively helping them find resources to use energy intelligently. 

This sense of being looked after carries over into energy optimization and the promotion of money-saving programs. Opower found that targeted, personalized Home Energy Reports drove email open and recall rates north of 80%, and because they increased consumer awareness of other efficiency measures, participation in additional utility programs lifted 20-60%. 

Home Energy Reports can easily transcend the limitations of text communication by being presented as a Personalized Video within an email campaign. It’s an intelligent marketing move to make because the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Engaging customers visually with data reflective of their own energy usage, relevant tips for optimization and long term money-saving solutions ensures that the information is optimally processed, which in turn will drive deep understanding and action.

Increase Engagement, Trust and Energy Optimization at Once

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Efficiency is a beautiful thing, whether you’re talking about a seamless, efficient digital customer experience or energy efficiency in the home. When you’re a utilities company, the two go hand in hand. Offering customers a digital experience they actually want to engage with drives self-sufficiency, confidence and a willingness to trust their provider when opportunities for energy optimization arise. 

Personalized Video is a great way to speak with your customers on a 1:1 level and show them that you truly have their back when it comes to helping them save the planet and save a little money, too. By clearly breaking down billing and usage data, you’re giving them the tools to make educated, engaged decisions about their energy usage. 

To learn more about how Personalized Video can drastically improve your customers’ digital experience, drive energy optimization and reduce call center volume and paper billing, request a demo with a member of the Idomoo team.

If you found this useful and you'd like to learn how to take advantage of the latest trends in a fast-paced and ever-evolving marketing landscape, we invite you to download a copy of our "How to stay ahead of the game in the marketing industry" guide for CMOs

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Alexandra Gehringer

Alex is Senior Creative Marketing Writer at Idomoo. Her goal is to give brands and marketers the information they need to achieve peak customer engagement. Through compelling, highly-relevant marketing initiatives built around Idomoo's Personalized Video Technology, she believes every brand can create an emotional, one-to-one connection with their customers.

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