Flattening load growth is an issue for every utility. However, as this revenue stream remains stagnant, energy utilities are looking for new sources of revenue. However, your consumers may not be aware of your energy services and retail offerings.
You already have valuable assets – your relationship with your energy consumers, who see you as a reliable and trustworthy company, an infrastructure that includes not only the grid, but skilled employees, a fleet of vehicles and substations.
Customers Weigh In on Energy Services
Two-thirds of consumers questioned in a Mower study didn’t know their service provider offered services other than electric service, and the number rose to three-quarters in the Midwest. However, two-thirds of those surveyed liked the idea of receiving services from a trusted company like their energy provider. In fact, 50 percent would use their service provider for “repairs, inspections and wiring work.”
That’s a large potential client base who is willing to purchase services from you, but simply aren’t aware you’re likely already offering them. How do you get their notice? Approximately 40 percent just aren’t engaged – their only interaction is paying the bill and reporting an outage.
It’s all about the data. You have an amazing amount of data about your consumers and their daily energy usage already available to you. Analyze that data to create a customer profile that will help you determine what products or services they most likely would buy. Once you know not only how they use energy, but how their usage has evolved, you’ll have a starting place for cross-selling and upselling.
Most customers can be categorized into general groups by a host of demographic data that will help you determine, in a general sense, what services they would be most receptive to. But it’s the personalization that improves customer satisfaction, loyalty and engagement.
Since most consumers are looking at their bills, that’s a good place to offer personalization. An interactive bill available across multiple channels would allow customers to click to find out more about their charges – and how a service or product can help them save energy or money or just make their lives easier. They will be able to review their purchase and payment history, what services they’ve opted into and how much money they’ve saved.
Cross-selling can increase revenue by up to 300 percent. It also costs five to 25 times less than recruiting a new consumer and research indicates customers who switch energy suppliers may not be looking for lower rates, but for better value. In short, your consumers may leave if you don’t cross-sell to them – they want a personalized package from their dependable partner, their energy utility.
What do they want, other than repair services? They want charging for their electric cars, smart thermostats and access to apps that help them conserve energy. They want solar panels and energy storage, distributed energy management and micro-grids – and they want services to be aggregated. That means the services you offer don’t have to be directly energy-related. Energy services are a good fit for your brand and abilities, but you may want to consider affinity partnerships to provide a broader range of offerings and customer satisfaction-improving choice.
As energy enters a new era, one in which utilities partner with their customers to educate them, help them save energy and make their lives easier. New channels and data analytics have made personalizing, cross-selling and upselling easier and more convenient than ever.
Utilities are looking for opportunities to connect more deeply with customers. HomeServe helps to improve customer engagement for our utility partners through the integration of complementary home repair programs with utility initiatives such as energy efficiency and safety, offering customers greater access and choice. Partnership allows the utility to leverage HomeServe’s marketing and communications expertise to educate their customers through a variety of channels. For more information, contact us.