What is the problem you're trying to solve?

Posted by Ashley Nicholls on May 26, 2017 at 9:30 AM

If water was dripping into your bedroom one night when it rained you'd probably get a bucket to capture the water. But eventually, maybe the next day  or the day after that you'd deal with the root cause of the issue: the leak.  


A few weeks ago, at AESP KSV got invited to join a session with utility decision makers, and we were asked (along with a couple of other smart agencies) to talk about the challenges and opportunities when utilities partner with outside agencies. 

One theme that came up is that so often marketing is leveraged to solve customer satisfaction issues when the root cause of the issue is process driven or operational. 

We get it, when customer satisfaction or program participation is low it’s easy to point to a communications team and say, “let’s do a campaign.” But will that solve the real problem?

The truth is, organizational challenges are hard and the path to becoming truly customer centric and delivering a superior experience is not an easy or comfortable one.

But that doesn’t mean the best, or first, course of action should be to do another campaign or send out another email that drives to a poor website experience. Why drive more interest in a program when the barrier to participation isn’t interest but process.

Some of our biggest successes haven’t been billboards or radio spots or digital buys. We’ve seen huge strides in participation and satisfaction from website content, salesforce design, customer service scripts and IVR recordings. And of course, brilliant advertising doesn’t hurt.

We all need to be brave enough to confront the issues our customers are facing, brave enough to lean into the breakdowns and find the breakthroughs. Brave enough to be honest about what isn't working and to celebrate, and then replicate what is. 

To solve the right problem. 


Topics: Customer-Centric Marketing, Utility Communications, Data and Analytics, Digital Transformation and User Experience, Innovation, Marketing Strategy and Best Practices, Audience Segmentation