Energy suppliers are jostling in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Competition has never been so fierce, and it’s easier than ever for customers to switch suppliers. That’s why it’s critical for energy companies to increase their customer engagement. Customer engagement is proven to increase customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and in turn, retention.
However, today’s consumer has a vast range of communications channels at their disposal, which is why, for energy suppliers, having a multi-channel (or omni-channel) engagement solution and approach is essential. Simply relying on customers to download and interact with an app is not enough. Communication options and channels must include post, text message, email, social channels, apps, as well as online portals.
Dealing with digitally savvy customers
Unfortunately for utility companies, today’s digitally savvy customers have come to expect the kind of seamless and personal experience they receive from the likes of Facebook, Amazon, and Google. But, as it stands, utilities are among the lowest-performing industries when it comes to digital engagement.
When benchmarked against other consumer-facing industries, utilities currently deliver the poorest digital experiences. According to the Centric Digital DIMENSIONSTM Score, which evaluates digital proficiency, the utility industry scores 571 on a 1,000-point scale. By contrast, the retail sector scores 771.
Key to improving engagement and therefore customer retention rates, is getting the right message to the right customer via the right channel, at the right time. And that might well involve both an online and offline approach per household.
What’s your customers’ preferred communications channel?
Customers are busy people. They want communications to reach them at the right time and in the right way to help them take efficient action. That’s why it’s important for utilities to ask customers to choose how they hear from them. Here at Advizzo we help suppliers discover what each household’s preferred communications channels are with a personalised survey.
The energy companies we work with benefit from up to 90% of their customers completing our survey. The details provided in the survey enables a much higher degree of personalisation in communications and as a result, a more targeted and effective customer engagement approach.
It also delivers the additional benefits of reducing cost to serve as suppliers can be confident they are targeting the right customers with the right message via the appropriate channel – and not wasting precious time or resources communicating by irrelevant means and methods, which aren’t going to be accessed or seen by the customer.
Not only does a multi-channel approach increase customer satisfaction, but it reduces churn by lowering the risk of annoying customers with potential spam and miscommunications. It also increases the ability to target segmented groups of customers with relevant products and services. You can find out more about Advizzo’s customer engagement solutions here.
The importance of coordinated communications
Like many industries, utilities must also overcome the challenge of different internal teams working in dedicated silos without sufficient coordination. This affects effort, time to market, and communications – where different messaging and outreach efforts lack an integrated and optimised approach, making it challenging to create a seamless and consistent set of communications across channels.
We help utilities overcome this hurdle by providing customer services software. This ensures that customer service touch points are up-to-speed with the customer communications that have been distributed, if and when a customer contacts customer services.
Creating a seamless experience as customers move between channels is key to creating a great customer experience. And because our front-end experience is linked to back-end analytics, we can help utilities to measure engagement and adapt the user experience as the relationship grows – increasing engagement and customer loyalty over time.