As marketers, we have been friends with data for decades. As the conversation has evolved and capabilities have grown, we have experienced excitement for data’s potential yet concern for both actionability and privacy, which is inherent to data’s increased sophistication and collection.
At KSV, we believe in being thoughtful, careful and 100 percent customer focused in terms of how we collect and activate data for our clients. The North Star for us with respect to data is customer centricity. How can we help our clients improve satisfaction for their residential and commercial customers via data-driven interactions? This is the key question that guides our team and its strategic use of data.
We lost interest in “big data for big data’s sake” a couple of years ago. Instead, we are hyper-focused on data that can solve problems for energy services customers in an era when people appreciate and increasingly expect personalized experiences from the brands they do business with, while simultaneously being wary of any and all external uses of their own personal data.
In light of the many ways that first-party data has been mishandled over the past few years, many utility companies are understandably hesitant to dive deeper on data’s potential to personalize and improve their customers’ overall experience. But it is time to change the narrative on data from creepy to helpful. This starts with relationship building through two-way transparent communication efforts.
Con Ed provides an example of how to do this in a way that fully empowers their customers. They began to have a conversation with customers aimed at permission-based data engagement. Check out their smart effort to help customers make sense of the power of data to reduce their energy footprint and save money. They successfully used transparency to communicate the customer benefit of taking control of consumption data, and lead the customer to an informed frame of reference, shaping how they make their own decisions about their energy data.
Energy services companies are among the best situated to drive this narrative change and pave the way for permission-based data exchanges to enrich the customer experience, but only if they are willing to step outside their comfort zone and into a space that prioritizes honesty, transparency and flexibility.
Let us explain why.
Energy services companies hold direct one-to-one relationships with their customers. Energy providers understand how we all are using energy and can therefore enable customers to take control of this data to make informed decisions. These informed decisions will improve energy demand management and save people money.
But it’s not just about saving money. It’s also about embracing emerging products that connect the home through owner control, further empowering customers to customize their own energy usage. It’s an exciting era to be an energy services company.
Time to stop protecting people from the use of data, and to stop thinking about “data” as the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Thing. Instead, make data work for you. Energy services companies have a huge opportunity to be the leaders of this shift in thinking.
If you’re ready to capitalize on all the opportunities your data holds, send us an email or give us a call! We’re always down for a good data chat.