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E Source Blog

Welcome to the E Source Blog! Our staff will share insights and observations about life at E Source, our events, our research, and other fun stuff.

December 6, 2013 | Kym Wootton - Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications | 0 comments
Have you seen our holiday card yet? If not, you’ve got to take a minute now to check it out! This one-take-only holiday card required two levels of involvement: Staff could either be front and center as lip-synchers or part of the background as crowds placed throughout the office. Thankfully, we had 25 people sign up to lip-synch and almost 40 who wanted to appear in the background of the video.

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December 2, 2013 | Eryc Eyl - Senior Associate, Customer Experience & Marketing | 0 comments
Booz & Co. 2013 Culture and Change Management Survey recently found that 84 percent of more than 2,200 respondents felt that their organizational culture was critical to business success, 96 percent (!) said their organization needed some kind of culture change, and fully 51 percent thought their culture was in need of a major overhaul. By now, most utilities that have embraced the importance of the customer experience (CE) have also realized that their company culture plays a huge role in CE. You know it takes a customer-oriented culture to create the rational and emotional perceptions you want your customers to have. But how do you make that big switch to a customer-oriented culture? And what the heck is culture anyway?

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November 21, 2013 | Mike Weedall - Senior Advisor, Strategic Customer Relations | 0 comments
Energy efficiency has many of the characteristics—mostly lost revenue—that challenge the traditional utility business model, which is based upon throughput and growing sales. Yet, energy efficiency will always be the most cost-effective resource, while also delivering environmental, economic development, and bill benefits for a community. The fact remains that as utility retail revenues stay flat or start to decline, the financial drivers for utilities will often see energy efficiency as just another factor to challenging today's utility financial health.

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November 19, 2013 | Lindsey Sajban - Marketing Assistant | 0 comments
Do you need a breath of fresh air? Then you need Jess Rife. She’s everything our events team needs: She’s organized, calm, and can delegate with kindness and patience. Jess always has a smile on her face; she’s funny, always positive, and has an enviable ability to brighten anyone’s day. She’s the only person I know who gets excited about CrossFit, and she’s always encouraging others to take a class or do a monthlong plank challenge. If you haven’t had the chance to meet her, be sure to stop by the registration desk at your next E Source event.

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November 15, 2013 | Eryc Eyl - Senior Associate, Customer Experience & Marketing | 1 comments
Since we’ve just released the results of our 2013 utility web and IVR benchmarking study, my mind turns to the place where customer experience (CE) conversations often start—and where they also used to stop—customer satisfaction. Is it just me, or is the evolution of CE in the utility industry picking up some serious momentum? Though I’m not new to CE work, I am new to the utility industry, having just joined E Source two months ago. For me, it’s exciting to see so many utilities expressing sincere curiosity and concern about their customers’ rational and emotional perceptions of them. A holistic and complex view of CE seems to be taking hold among utilities, a view that encompasses not only customer service and satisfaction but also the broad range of interactions that occur when a customer researches, orders, pays for, or cancels products or services. However, two foundational concepts and concerns remain at the heart of the utility CE discussion: user experience (usually connected to a utility’s website or automated phone system) and customer satisfaction (usually related to reactive customer service agents and processes).

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November 15, 2013 | Tom Tate - Manager of Marketing and Member Services for Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative | 0 comments
Good day, or evening, depending upon when you happen to read this blog. I’m Tom Tate, a utility marketing person with nearly three decades of experience in both investor-owned and cooperative utilities. Currently I’m the manager of marketing and member services for Sussex Rural Electric Cooperative in Sussex, New Jersey. The smallest utility I’ve worked for, it gives me a real opportunity to interact with my members—or customers—directly, which is something I do enjoy. So, what three things have I learned in my utility career? This actually took quite a bit of cogitation, since I’ve learned an amazing number of things. But, I’m going to limit the blog to the top three. Here goes.

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Topics: Marketing
November 12, 2013 | Sarah Fiebiger - Manager, Market Research Services | 1 comments
Recently at E Source, we’ve been testing new ways of delivering information to our customers. Though we’ve dabbled in creating basic imagery for presentations and reports, we haven’t really tried creating your standard, stand-alone web presentation infographic before. So we decided to create a graphical story using some data from a study we completed earlier this year and to test it right here on our blog to see what people think. The infographic below (“Utilities Aren’t Quite Amazon.com with Customer Experience—Yet—but They Could Be!”) is the result. Please check it out and provide any feedback you have in the comments section below.

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October 28, 2013 | Beth Hartman | 0 comments
Beyond just a channel for broadcasting outage or other crisis information, social media has become a creative way for utilities to promote products and services online, where many customers are already spending large amounts of time. One of the most important impacts of promoting products and services on social media comes from the viral network effects that can occur on these platforms when people begin sharing a company’s information with their own social groups.

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Topics: Social media
October 1, 2013 | Julie Herman - Product Manager | 0 comments
As demand-side management (DSM) program executives and administrators are increasingly called upon to validate program performance and expenditures, benchmarking your programs is an important first step. E Source has just released our "2012 DSM Achievements and Expenditures" report, which reveals actual 2012 DSM results. All utility employees can benefit from reviewing this report and getting a perspective on how your achievements rate against 50-plus other utilities.

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October 1, 2013 | Kate Drexler - Research Manager | 0 comments
We’ve all heard the adage about giving a man a fish versus teaching him to fish. For those drawing blanks, it goes, “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” This principle embodies the spirit behind a new programmatic approach to serving commercial and industrial customers called strategic energy management (SEM) programs. SEM programs move away from traditional demand-side management approaches that give customers fish (that is, rebate incentives), and they instead teach customers how to fish, or, rather, how to manage their energy usage internally more strategically over a longer term.

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