Uplight’s quantitative customer survey, conducted last year, found that customers of all segments craved more personalization. And our follow-up focus groups reinforced this idea. Here are a few quotes from customer participants about their utility customer experience.
It’s been email overload about COVID-19. They’ve gone out of their way to let everyone know that they have programs available, if you’ve been furloughed. In a way, they are overdoing it. It’s too much. A lot of it I just ignore.
Most low-to-middle income, or LMI, participants were appreciative of information on their utility’s COVID relief programs, even if they didn’t utilize them. However, some higher income participants were annoyed by the communication frequency, feeling like these offers did not apply to them. While well intentioned, too many generic communications can cause some customers to engage less, not more.
As a renter, a lot of the tips and stuff didn’t really apply to me.
Renters and multi-family dwellers are less engaged overall, and when they do engage, are often disappointed to find that the majority of utility offers don’t apply to them–leaving them even less likely to engage. This is another example of where generic communications can lead to frustration.
I know people who have worked for the utility, they’re good, honest people. Trust me, in the middle of a storm, these guys are out there working, trying to help you….I think they’re doing a great job.
Finally, the focus groups pointed to the importance of the original form of personalization–in person interactions. Focus group participants fondly recalled seeing and speaking with line workers that took down branches and attending utility-sponsored open door events. These experiences create meaningful connections that influence positive customer sentiment and engagement.