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Digital Marketing

Getting Personal: How to Engage Utility Customers

In a time where technology is constantly evolving, it can seem that personal connection is becoming more difficult to achieve, especially between company and customer. Consumers are more connected than ever, and as a result, more aware of where they take their business. They’re not only looking at the value of the service they’re receiving, but at their overall experience with the company and what new technologies are being made available to them. Consumers expect more, and by personalizing the customer experience and fostering that relationship, utility providers can stay ahead of the curve and meet customer expectations.

Engage Through Personalization

As you work to better support your customers’ energy and home management journey, use the data you gather through your website, call center, customer accounts, and meters to personalize the customer experience.

  • 51% of consumers expect that, by 2020, companies will anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions before they make contact
  • 79% of consumers are only likely to engage with an offer if it has been personalized to reflect their previous interactions with that brand
  • 88% of marketers saw a measurable lift in business results from personalization, with 53% reporting a lift greater than 10% and 10% reporting a lift greater than 30%

So what do you do with the data you have? Start by finding a customer relationship management (CRM) tool that will enable you to bring all of your customer data under one roof, where you can truly examine and utilize it. Then look for a content management system (CMS) with personalization capabilities, whether rules-based or learning, and content modules that are optimized for web, mobile, and any apps you may have. This will allow you to put your website’s CMS to work, matching the right combination of content pieces to the users you know will be most interested in them.
Using customer data to personalize your web content will help make your website more efficient, reduce the total number of web pages you need, and provide each of your customers with a web experience tailored to fit their specific needs and interests.
But don’t forget about accessibility. As you’re working to implement changes in your online user experience, don’t forget to include accessibility and inclusive design in your digital strategy. New regulations demand that utility companies provide accessible experiences. Make sure your website’s fonts, tags, images, and navigation are user-friendly for all of your customers, including those with disabilities, and that your online presence complies with regulations such as the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Own the Relationship

Improving your customer engagement through personalization will also come in handy as you compete with industry newcomers (or other providers, if you’re in an unregulated market) for customer attention and loyalty.
As your customers research and implement new technology for their homes, such as alternative energy sources — smart thermostats, high-efficiency appliances, smart bulbs, and more — don’t miss the opportunity to contribute to the decision-making process.
By providing timely and personalized content about the various technologies and options available, you can help your customers educate themselves and position your brand as their go-to resource and first point of contact for updating their home. You can also take it a step further by creating and offering a variety of package solutions that fit your customers’ energy needs and wants.
Keeping up with the latest energy technologies and trends and establishing your company as the one-stop-shop for home updates will not only foster customer loyalty, but will also give your company staying power as new developments continue to take place.
Interested in learning more about what digital essentials can help you remain a front-runner in the utilities industry? Download our free guide, 5 Digital Essentials for Succeeding in the Utilities Industry.

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