Making the Electric Bill Meaningful not Abstract

January 18, 2018 | Blog

With a proactive and relevant communication strategy utilities can turn an abstract electric bill into a conversation starter that helps the customer:

  • See the value of their energy spend.
  • Understand what impacts the bill.
  • Show what is using the watts in their home or business.
  • Give tailored suggestions for using energy more efficiently.
  • Give the customer a feeling of control their energy costs.
  • Provide mid-cycle projections of the bill amount based on consumption to date.

The monthly bill is becoming a footnote when proactive communication is used to focus on individual customer energy use. The multi-channeled approach includes using email, videos, text messaging, VRUs, and the CSR as a last resort. By the time the bill arrives, all chances of “bill shock” should be gone. The customer should see the bill as a simple confirmation of what they expected.

Note the key components of this approach:

  • Proactive engagement and communication.
  • Immediately actionable and relevant tips.
  • Access to the data via multiple channels.
  • Moving customers into a self-service mode.
  • Educating the customer about their energy use.

Here is an overview of the tools at your disposal to build your own proactive bill communication revolution:

  • An email alerting the customer that they have reached an energy use threshold with suggestions on reducing use and lowering the upcoming bill.
  • A short video conveying the same information as the email.
  • Access to the same information integrated through your VRU to enable them to answer their own question.
  • CSRs deliver a consistent message to the customer.
  • Web-based tools, calculators, energy audits, and other resources that allow the customer to help them learn more about managing their energy use.

Benefits for your utility include reduced cost, call avoidance, increased customer satisfaction, and positioning the utility as a trusted advisor. The payback is enormous.

Jan. 25th at 2:00 Eastern Apogee will host a webinar “Proven Strategies for Growing Email and Phone Number Lists” with special guests from Duke Energy, PPL, Jackson EMC and LCEC all will share their experience with successful customer engagement campaigns.

Contact Karen Morris to learn more about how you can take the confusion out of your utility bill and empower your customers with a comprehensive outbound communications strategy.


About The Author

Karen Morris, Marketing Manager, Apogee Interactive, Inc.

Karen manages Apogee’s marketing resources service as well as Apogee’s own corporate marketing efforts. For the past 17 years, she’s worked closely with utilities across the country to help them better market their energy efficiency programs through online initiatives. She brings timely and informative webinars to energy professionals through Apogee Institute as well as directs Apogee’s user groups.

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