With customer expectations and demands increasing, it is more important than ever for utilities to address the customer and their barriers to participation and satisfaction. Through a series of customer interviews (and 30 years in the industry), we know that one of the biggest barriers to participation is customer distrust in utilities. This is a direct hurdle for your customer satisfaction scores.
How do you overcome this?
Humanize your organization through authentic communications around the three pillars.
- Corporate citizenship and community involvement
- Communications that are relevant and interesting to your customer – think about topics such as safety, reliability, useful incentives and comfort
- Customer service that is responsive, convenient and dedicated to solving problems.
We know you’re already involved in the community, so share it in a way that resonates.
Think about your communications. Are you solely discussing ways to save money? Or are you promoting the efforts your organization is undertaking to keep rates low, increase reliability, and safety? Discussing the non-financial benefits will give you a human edge vs. utility giant speak.
Most of you have Social Media Managers, but are they working with Customer Service? Your customers don’t want to be put on hold. When they’re unhappy, they want to make a point. Where do they do this? On your Facebook and Twitter pages.
This is the most crucial element: creating a community management system that syncs your customer service and social teams. If there is not successful communication, your scores will suffer.
Food for thought as you plan for 2015!
Lauren Bell / Engagement Manager / 802.862.8261 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Some great sources to reference:
*West Monroe. “Aligning Customer Satisfaction and Utility Regulation.”
**Mintel Report. “Marketing to Millennials.” 2014.