Everywhere you look today, people are face first in their mobile device. They’re surfing the web, watching movies, playing games, emailing, or texting. People are busy using their smartphones for just about everything—everything, it seems, except making phone calls. In fact, it’s alarmingly rare for people to have a two-way real-time phone conversation.

Graphic of a hand holding a smartphone

Does this mean the phone call is dead? Not for utilities’ large business customers. According to the 2015 E Source Large Business Gap and Priority study, large business customers are fine with email when it comes to regular contact with their utility or when the utility needs to contact them about planned outages or supply disruptions. But when it comes to communications about unplanned energy emergencies, large business customers want a phone call. And who can blame them? A phone call gives each party the chance to explain their situation, understand where each other is coming from, and react in real time. It also allows participants to express emotion through their voices—not through icons.

So while everyone seems to be texting away or rushing to get the latest mobile this or that, remember that there’s a time and place for everything. And when a utility needs to communicate to a large business customer that an energy emergency is occurring, it’s time for a personal phone call.

For more-detailed information concerning this topic and others that directly affect a utility’s relationship with its large business customers, check out the 2015 E Source Large Business Gap and Priority study. If you don’t currently have access to this material, call us! 1-800-ESOURCE (1-800-376-8723).

Finally, if you’re wondering if your customers feel the same way about their communication preferences, the best to way to find out is to participate in one of our upcoming Business Customer Gap and Priority studies. I think you’ll be glad you did!

Contributing Authors

Senior analyst, Market Research

Daniel Doutre brings more than 25 years of experience defining, organizing, and analyzing market research data to the E Source team. From semiannual...