Personalization is no longer optional; it’s now a requirement for the utility customer experience. Today’s customers expect companies to know who they are and to engage with them through frictionless, digital channels. We’ve all grown accustomed to getting relevant recommendations and consuming exactly what we want and need with the click of a button, usually on our smartphones. Regardless of the product, customers demand (and deserve!) engaging experiences that are relevant, timely, and tailored to their unique needs and preferences.
Unfortunately, finding the best deal and recommendations from utilities is never so seamless. Navigating the company website can be complicated with lists of links and eligibility requirements. It’s not always clear how to pay your bill, let alone understand what programs and products a utility provides and which ones are most relevant for you and offer the best savings. And for utilities, solving these problems to create a connected customer experience is complex, requiring them to connect siloed systems and departments, revamp their digital presence, and personalize each customer interaction.
Customers want tailored offers that are easy to consume
Investing in personalization isn’t just a nice to have-Uplight’s customer research found that personalization pays off by increasing customer satisfaction, boosting customer engagement, enabling customers to take more energy saving actions, and closing the gap between knowledge and action. In the same research study, we found that utility customers are hungry for personalization, with 58% saying they’d answer up to 10 questions if it meant they would receive personalized energy recommendations.
While personalized recommendations help utilities build more meaningful relationships with their customers, it’s not the only factor in getting more customers to take actions on those recommendations. Each barrier a customer encounters, the less likely they are to participate. In trying to take action on a recommendation that could save energy and money, customers still have to navigate through the utility website to purchase an energy efficient product, go to a different place to enroll in their recommended rate, go to a third place to enroll in a demand response program, and go to yet a fourth place to pay their bill.
But what if utilities could help remove these barriers and optimize each customer interaction with a bundle of offers that customers can choose from and enroll in a single step? Many utility customers are likely with the concept of bundled offers from their internet and cable providers. Extending this principle to energy on a seamless, digital platform can help connect customers to relevant utility offers that save energy and money, while also empowering customers to contribute to a more sustainable future for all.
Plus is a seamless platform that connects customers to the right set of solutions at just the right time. Delivered through an app, a website, or the utility’s preferred digital channel, Plus creates personalized, bundled offers for customers based on the utility’s offerings, such as energy-saving plans, renewable energy options, support for electric cars, bill-pay, and ways to make charitable contributions. Customers no longer need to hunt for information across multiple web pages or remain stuck in a plan that no longer suits their needs.
Utilities benefit, too
Although many utilities offer a range of affordable products, DSM programs, and services, if customers aren’t aware of these offerings or it’s too hard for them to enroll, then both sides are leaving money and energy savings on the table. Understandably, utilities may not have the bandwidth or resources to launch a complicated and expensive new marketing campaign every time they offer something new. It also takes time and money to educate, enroll, and retain customers. But Plus makes customer engagement instantaneous, and uses technology to seamlessly connect customers to the bundle of utility offers that meet their needs.
A seamless matching of customers to the most relevant offers enables utilities to more easily reach their goals around decarbonization, energy efficiency, rate enrollment, and electrification. Utilities benefit from lower program enrollment costs and decreased customer support calls, while customer satisfaction, bill savings, and customer engagement improve. Lastly, this can help utilities increase revenue by connecting customers to marketplace offers for smart thermostats and other energy efficiency products.
Customized experiences and bundled offers really work
Uplight has already demonstrated that making the process effortless is a great way for utilities to build trust and to connect customers to the programs they prefer.
For example, demand response pre-enrollment, or DRPE, allows a utility to bundle energy efficiency and demand response instant rebates so that customers can enroll in the program during the customer validation and checkout process—all at the same time with just a few clicks. At Consumers Energy, 91% of eligible customers enrolled in the DR program when they purchased a smart thermostat. The customer gets the thermostat at a free or reduced price, enjoys a seamless enrollment and smart thermostat installation process, and is therefore more likely to unlock higher energy and demand savings.
To learn more about Plus and unlocking the potential of bundled offers, check out our recent webinar.