The Customer POV: Adapting to Inefficiencies vs. Seeking E.E. Solutions

Posted by Lauren Bell on November 5, 2015 at 2:45 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 2.41.01 PM WATCH customer video.

Did you know that one third of customers’ go to resource for home-related issues are their friends and family?*

This makes sense. We trust the people we know best. We trust their experiences and relationships. We, as consumers, want to know that the investment and commitment to purchases and programs is going to be worth it. That we’ll get the return.

Interestingly enough, guess what customers have to say when it comes to issues and solutions pertaining to E.E.?

  • “We tell people who are downstairs watching this TV to use a blanket, put on a sweater, keep your coat on.”
  • “We put plastic over the windows, and that helps.”
  • “I just stay away from the windows. I don’t sit there.”
  • “Put another log on the fire. Put on a sweater.”

Kind of frightening, right? WATCH more highlights in this week’s customer POV video. With winter around the corner, we wanted to hear from them what kind of challenges they face and solutions they seek.

In KSV’s 2014 market research, 69% of participants stated that they found themselves adapting to inefficiencies in their homes and/or businesses rather than seeking solutions.

And it makes sense when you hear what the customer conversation is: “Just put on another sweater!

This advice creates a perception that cold rooms and drafty windows are normal. It’s just a standard sacrifice that comes with home ownership and the winter season.

People are normalized to everyday inefficiencies in their homes and/or workplace. There’s a commonality in the discomfort. There’s a pride in overcoming it.

Typically, it is only when these inefficiencies cause a disruption in expectation that they are noticed. For instance, customers are typically “fine” with wearing a sweater and paying their bill (if the bill is consistent with prior months and season) but if there is a spike. A higher price. Their normal is disrupted. Action will either be taken to find a solution – or they complain until they ultimately become re-acclimated to their new normal. (One which they’ll never be ‘happy’ about, just normalized to.)

So, how do you increase participation in programs that customers aren’t even aware they need? How do you reach them before they’re furious and complaining about a higher bill?

In one of customer interviews, an executive said:

You have to educate someone about inefficient areas so they pay attention to it. They just assume some costs are constant and part of their daily lives. People just get used to it. They think it’s outside their realm of control.” - CEO, Global Software Company

You need to be the disruption in your customer’s expectation through the unexpected benefits of your products, services and programs.

You’ve got all the right solutions. Now you just need your message to ladder up.

*KSV Proprietary Market Research. 2015.

Lauren Bell / Engagement Manager / 802.862.8261 / 

Topics: Customer-Centric Marketing, Customer Engagement, Customer Insight, customer POV, utility communications, Utility Marketing, energy efficiency, Home Improvement, marketing solutions, program participation

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