Organizations that have a captive audience, like utility organizations do, have a distinct advantage in the modern marketing era. No, not because they are often a monopoly (the need to market even in that environment is addressed in forthcoming blogs), but because they have the opportunity to build personal relationships with all of their customers no matter how many they have. And relationships are crucial to modern marketing.
The great opportunity is that a utility has the name, address, and contact information for each customer. Moreover, they know the usage habits of that customer. They know who calls, what they ask, and the resolution of that call. Pretty good stuff. But, a utility can know a whole lot more. And that knowledge allows them to truly cultivate each relationship. Most industries only dream about this.
To simplify, today’s technology and communication channels allow a marketer to observe the behavior of website visitors and social media followers and serve them more of what they like.
Example: A customer goes to a utility website and reads information about conservation efforts. The utility then sends them additional information on conservation - either through a customized e-newsletter, or with an article preview when they log on to view their usage. Or through banner ads on other sites that they visit (remarketing). They can receive personal invitations to conservation events. All served automatically based on what the customer does online.
The customer now receives content based on what they have shown an interest in. If their interests change, so does the content that they are served.
The more of this that happens, the more the utility knows about the customer and can, therefore, communicate more of what they want to know. This builds trust in the utility. It builds satisfaction. Loyalty.
Today, we have the technology at our fingertips to automate these efforts. The technology is programmed to respond however the utility wants it to. More intrusive, or less so. With video or just written words. At stated intervals or in response to online behavior; whatever the strategy requires.
The bottom line is that all of this is for the benefit of the customer and is dictated by their actions. And, it’s customized for each customer, no matter how many there are. I can see the satisfaction scores soaring.