In 2017, Lakeland Electric made it a strategic priority to provide customers with the knowledge and online tools to understand, manage, and predict their bills. The changes over the following three years created a basis for successfully navigating the coronavirus without the need for a related rate increase in 2021.
Customers Praise Tools That Manage Electricity Costs
Serving about 131,000 customers in central Florida, Lakeland Electric identified that a significant amount of time and resources were spent with customers around payment issues and surprise over bill amounts. Lakeland Electric engaged Apogee Interactive to provide personalized communications and online applications to reduce uncertainty with customers and educate them on rate options. These applications included:
- Next bill forecast
- Daily usage and cost
- Bill alerts
- Price plan comparison
- Personalized video bill explanation
Between 2017 and 2020, 25% of Lakeland Electric’s customers have created a personalized profile and utilized the platform—3 times their initial expectations. During this period, their customer satisfaction rating with the platform rose to 86%.
As the Pandemic impacted Lakeland in 2020, the number of delinquent accounts increased to a peak of 22% by May of 2020. This is 12 percentage points higher than May of 2019. As of October of 2020, Lakeland has reduced these levels to their 2019 benchmark and increased customer satisfaction by 4%.
Lakeland Electric credits four elements for their success:
- Communicate early and often
- Maintain business practices
- Be flexible but firm with payment arrangements
- Customer engagement and education is worth the investment
For More Information
Apogee Interactive, Inc. is a privately held, woman-owned business and one of the nation’s leading full-service provider of proactive customer engagement SaaS provider for energy utilities. As the Hometown Connections partner for customer engagement, Apogee’s digital engagement platform delivers proactive, targeted, relevant, and personalized communication for hundreds of North American utilities, including some of the largest and most progressive, such as Southern Company, ConEd, LADWP, and Jackson EMC. For more information, visit www.apogee.net or on LinkedIn. Or contact Karen Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org.