Today’s customer expects instant everything. Communications from the companies they know and do business with should be personal, timely, and relevant. Forward thinking marketing and communications professionals also know an integrated marketing approach is most effective. Offering customers a choice through multiple channels gives the customer a sense of control, resulting in improved customer satisfaction and engagement.
Personal, Outbound, and Proactive (POP)
Forbes predicts that by 2020 82% of internet traffic will be video. That is up considerably from the current 69% in 2017. Including video in your communications mix is engaging and fun. Apogee’s personalized bill explanations are seeing extraordinary results with 98% of utility customers wanting to receive these communications regularly. What could be more relevant, and proactive? The videos explain in easy to understand terms why a bill has changed and offers a simple call to action designed for program promotion, surveys or just to encourage web traffic.
Today personalization means more than just adding first names. Personalization is now defined as personalized content recommendations. Sending threshold alerts to customers demonstrates the power of outbound personalized and proactive communications. Letting a customer know when their bill is nearing a set amount mid-cycle then offering proactive recommendations on how save before the high bill drops. This enables the customer to take steps to manage their usage.
Energy summary reports are another way to engage energy customers with relevant information. In one control group, Apogee emailed summary reports to 40,000 customers. Among the group that received these reports, customer satisfaction increased by 16%.
What could be more relevant and personalized that your bill analysis, energy threshold alerts, or an energy summary report?
Recommendations for Success
- Provide information that addresses the customer benefits ahead of desired utility benefits.
- Include multiple outbound channels and tactics in your toolkit.
- Make customers feel valued by giving them relevant information they need.
In a recent study by Forrester, 68% of firms surveyed identified personalization as a priority. The days of sitting back hoping customers will visit your website are long gone as is blasting emails to thousands without targeting. Personal, outbound, and proactive messaging is a must if you want to get customers engaged and keep them engaged.
Digital engagement tools like online audits, video bill explanations, and text alerts are easy ways to communicate relevant, personal information. These should be essential elements of any utilities’ marketing toolkit.