Utility Companies: How to Evaluate a Mover Concierge Program

It might not be an apples-to-apples comparison, but every day, your customers compare your utility company to other brands.

And, those other brands are not utility companies – they directly compare you to the most customer service-driven organizations in the world.

Amazon. Nordstrom. Apple. Southwest Airlines. And your utility company – right up there!

It doesn’t matter if you’re delivering a great customer experience today – there is always room to do better. Whether it’s an essential or non-essential commodity, customers expect a premier experience.

So, what do you do? You try to drive value in new ways – through innovation, through creativity, and through new programs or services.

The concept of providing additional programs or services to customers isn’t new. The most popular of those services being the “mover program” – a post-utility transaction service that helps your customers who are moving tackle other tasks for their move.

“Mover program” as it’s known in our space is such a basic name, though – let’s call it a “moving concierge” from now on, because that’s really what it is.

Some utility companies work to help customers beyond the utility service turn-on phone call, in an effort to continue the relationship and/or sell ancillary products (like appliance service plans, for example). As soon as you offer something additional that you can help a customer with, you’re offering a post-transaction concierge. Some utilities go above and beyond to provide additional value to the customer and to drive additional revenue.

If your company doesn’t do this today, you’re in the right place. Below, we list out all the questions you should ask moving concierge companies in order to select the right partner for your utility company.

If your company does this today, awesome! Chances are, however, it could be a stitched together program by your own internal team. Or even worse, your current moving concierge partner may not be providing you with a robust, comprehensive solution. If it was perfect, you wouldn’t need to read this article. Maybe you’ve seen some success, but it’s not as strong as it could be? Maybe it’s not working at all? Maybe it’s requiring too much of an internal lift? Whatever your reasoning, see below for a list of the right questions to ask as you select a partner for your utility company.

Top 9 Questions to Ask a Moving Concierge

Below are the key questions you should ask prospective moving concierge partners – and our response to each. Instant gratification!

1. Product Offering. What products and services do you offer for utility companies and our customers? (e.g. internet service, warranty plans, or moving services)?

Updater’s moving concierge offers an array of products and services to customers after their utility start-service interaction, including TV, internet, and home security. In addition, our moving concierge allows utilities to offer their own deregulated products and services to customers. Customers also get access to Updater’s invite-only moving app as a value-add for those customers on the move. Check out our moving app’s 25+ features here.

We pose a question back to you if you’re considering offering a moving concierge for your utility: what services do you want to offer to your customers? Evaluate all available features, make sure they align with your customer experience goals, and go for it. Your customers will thank you.

2. Value Prop. What are the benefits of your moving concierge? You want to ensure that a moving concierge is something your customers will find valuable – it should help resolve a need and create a great experience.

Updater provides an integrated, multi-channel moving concierge — built for utilities, designed for customers, and trusted by marketers. Our solution enables you to:

  • Create, enhance, and scale your concierge program, both digitally and over the phone.
  • Launch new sales channels to grow your ancillary revenue and reach customers before and after they call you.
  • Reduce your call center costs – every digital interaction can reduce your phone interaction count.
  • Integrate our moving app as a critical upgrade and value-add for customers.
  • Enroll customers and prospects digitally in the products and services that you care about most.

3. Expertise. What utilities are you currently partnered with? Can you share any case studies or testimonials from your utility partners? No one wants to be a guinea pig – you want to know, with confidence, that your partner has done this before.

We are currently partnered with 15+ utilities, including 3 of the top 5 utilities (ranked by number of customers) in the country:

  • Pacific Gas & Electric: serves 4.5M households
  • Duke Energy: serves 7M households
  • Florida Power & Light Energy Services: serves 5M households

4. Customer Choice. What channels do you leverage to interact with your customers? Do you offer value-add resources and offers to customers after their initial interaction?

Updater gives customers a choice of where and when to engage – over the phone, directly within your website, within our moving app, and via curated and personalized email lifecycle journeys.

We can deliver you a choice also – we can bring you a continuous mover journey either in a turnkey fashion (launch and watch), or we can create entry points into a mover journey via your pre-existing marketing.

5. Channel Diversification. What methods do you have in place to bring new customers to my utility?

Across our various properties, we estimate that Updater’s technology will touch 50% of all American moves in 2020. Through our moving app alone, we process 25% of all annual US household moves.

By partnering with us, we can place your own products and services in front of movers who are moving into your geographical footprint, thus opening up a new sales and marketing channel for your utility. Schedule a demo today, and we’ll show you how.

6. Program Customization: Does your solution have the flexibility to swap product offers? What are your test-and-learn capabilities? Programs should be designed around your customer’s needs.

Products and services can be easily added to our platform as SKUs to ensure that your customers are presented with the right items that fit their unique needs. We recommend including:

  • Warranty products
  • Electric vehicles
  • “After the meter” programs
  • And more

Changing SKUs digitally can be done easily. But, when it comes to changing SKUs over the phone, we have a Call Center Innovation Lab that enables us to test various scripts, products, services, and workflows in real-time, to make sure we get it right for you and to provide your customers with the best experience.

7. Quality Control. What quality control protocols do you have in place? How do you measure success? Remember, these are your customers. Be adamant about quality control to ensure that your customers receive an optimal experience. 

We have various “quality reports” that measure our agents’ soft skills, contact control skills, use of tools, professionalism, and more.

We deliver CSAT surveys (on behalf of the utility) to every customer that flows through our mover concierge call center. We work closely with the utility on any specific questions that should be included. CSAT surveys are used to gather business intelligence, gain insight into additional wants and needs of customers, and provide agent-level insight into the customer’s experience. We utilize such feedback to enhance product offerings, deliver additional content and information, re-engage the customer, address any major concerns, and improve our agents’ overall performance.

Based on what we learn from grading and judging ourselves, we’ve been able to implement voice recognition capabilities, skill-based routing and more.

8. Reporting and KPIs. What KPIs are measured? Do you have any standard reporting dashboards? Are they customizable?

  • Call Center: We employ over 400 call center teammates. Included in this number are front-line agents as well as an experienced management team. The key success metrics that our dedicated call center leadership team uses to measure customer experience include, but are not limited to, CSAT, SVL, ABA, Quality, Sales Performance, and Installation Rates.
  • Digital: Our various digital journeys are tracked using analytics and business intelligence tools to have complete insight into engagement, workflow movement, and conversions.

9. Data and Privacy: Do you sell customer data? It is important to find a moving concierge partner who will value your customer’s privacy and protect their data.

We do not sell, rent or share any personally identifiable information behind your customers’ back. We would only make an exception to this pledge if we were required to do so by law. We are also both CCPA and PCI compliant.

If you’re interested in learning more about our concierge offering for utility companies, please click here.