What do movers want from their utility company?
Disruption of the power industry is upon us. As utilities across the country scramble to stay on top of driving trends in the industry, a meaningful number of companies are finding ways to build competitive advantages.
From our vantage point, it’s easy to see why customers on the move are an attractive place to start when building those advantages. Homeowners spend an average of ~$9K when they move and the United States is the most transient country in the world. Apply that cost to the 16.9 million households that move annually and voila! – we have a $150B industry. And opportunity.
We believe that winning in a changing environment requires new ways of thinking. A great starting point is thinking about those movers.
What do they actually need and want from you when they call? They certainly want to start/stop/transfer service, but what else do they want? We conducted a study in February 2020 to answer those exact questions.
Live customer support is the most important desire
When asked to rank their most important desires and needs of their utility company, 72% of movers ranked live customer support as their most important need. Movers further noted that live support should extend across phone, online chat, and email.
The right solution needs to be a mix – reach consumers where and how they want to be reached. It may not feel fair that you need to be everywhere, but consumers expect omnichannel engagement from every brand they interact with, regardless of whether you’re Netflix, Zappos, or the local water company. Expectations are high.
Neel Gulhar, Product Strategy and Marketing Sr. Director at Oracle Utilities, said it best to Utility Dive: “The objective is to provide customers with a better experience as they engage with their utilities. There are many ways to do that and smartphone apps are one, but the right strategy is more comprehensive and includes a good mobile app, text and email messages, and a secure website experience.” Full article here.
Convenience and information cannot be replaced
After live customer support, movers ranked convenience-based and informational tools as the next most important items on the list. They want to be able to quickly and easily pay their bills online, hear about service outages, and receive clarity on fees without having to wait on hold for 30 minutes.
The omnichannel customer communications strategy mentioned above can, and should, include all of the top mover needs. If you can seamlessly connect your interactions across all channels, you’ll improve the customer experience and save dollars at every step of the way.
Additionally, a streamlined communication platform will help keep all of your customer data in one place and easily accessible for an analysis of your customer’s behavior. You’ll have a full line of sight into the cross-selling and upselling of your ancillary products and services and you can use analytics to lower your call center costs.
As for money-saving tips – you’re in the unique position to be able to advise on both reducing energy use and saving money. 44% of movers want this from their utility. Build out drip campaigns that provide friendly guidance on your financial assistance programs, how to be more efficient, weatherproofing solutions, rebate opportunities, and more. You may already have an energy-saving portal built on your website – show it off, especially for first-time customers who are moving into your footprint.
Generate value around the move
You’re in a unique position – movers have to reach out to you. Leverage the opportunity to be of greater service to your customers and drive revenue by offering additional products and services. With an overwhelming amount of decisions to make, movers are less likely to spend as much time as they usually would deliberating between brands, packages, and products.
As you see in the chart above, movers often prefer convenience. Under pressure, purchase decisions are made based on the most economical, the fastest, and or/easiest option.
An easy way to drive additional revenue for your utility is to offer a moving concierge program. You help your customers with their utility transfer, why not help them with their television or internet transfer as well? Or, help them set up their home in general?
We can help you launch a moving concierge program in a turnkey fashion – both over the phone and digitally.
Curious about what a moving concierge can do for you? We’ve got you covered.
The winners in the utility space in the years ahead will continue to light the bulbs and power the stoves. But they will also leverage their knowledge, innovation, relationships, and technology in new ways to keep moving forward.
Start moving forward today with a mover strategy – click here to learn more about our moving concierge solution for utilities.