Have you ever thought what “traditional” customers cost their energy providers? Traditional customers are those that barely interact with their utility. In fact, this happens once every month when the bill arrives or when something is not right, and it is time to complain. These customers find that spending time interacting with their energy provider is not worth the potential benefits. For this reason, they choose to behave like a simple ratepayer, rather than spending time researching the products and services their energy provider offers.
While many utility companies find this convenient, engaging these otherwise inert customers can be advantageous to increase revenue streams. Indeed, energy demand has been stagnant for the past 10 years which has resulted in declining utility revenue, necessitating strategic plans that address customers as the missing ingredient in the recipe for success. But how are utilities going to succeed when customers have no idea about these initiatives, as a result of their passive behavior? Transforming these traditional, inert customers to engaged ones is the only way to go!
According to a New York State Department of Public Service Staff Report and Proposal, the choice of value-added services, pricing options, economical self-generation and demand response, access to alternative electricity sources, and real-time information are several key factors for increasing customer engagement. Deloitte’s most recent annual resources study provides similar insights, as well.
In particular, their study reported that 53% of all respondents said that it is extremely or very important to them that part of their electricity supply comes from renewable resources. However, only 16% of them reported being offered green energy sources, from which only 6% have purchased it. This represents a clear disparity between customers who are interested in renewable energy products as compared to those who are actually presented with the option to purchase them. Consequently, the fore-mentioned numbers do not represent customers’ lack of interest. To the contrary, they represent the challenge that lies in reaching and communicating with customers. Awareness is a vital element of an engagement strategy, that allows utilities to influence and drive customer behavior. Uninformed and uneducated customers are also the ones that, as a result of confusion and uncertainty, do not take action.
If utility providers want to transform traditional ratepayers to active partners in addressing the challenges and opportunities of the modern electric grid they should not hesitate to communicate with them! If energy providers do not adapt their communications strategy in response to stagnating energy demand by engaging traditional customers and drive their behavior, the revenue streams will likely continue to decline. These customers will end up costing more than you think.
To learn more about turn key digital communications strategies for utilities contact Apogee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 678-684-6801.
About the Author
Kate Panaousis is a graduate of Panteion University of Athens, Greece with a master’s degree in Applied Economics and Management and a graduate of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. Her professional background includes experience with statistical analyses, forecasting techniques and research. She is currently the Marketing Analyst at Apogee Interactive. Her role includes market research, statistical analysis and sales team support.