First impressions, whether good or bad, can seriously influence how we perceive people, as noted in the National Public Radio article You Had Me At Hello: The Science Behind First Impressions and as we heard from some short interviews with our coworkers (Media 1).

MEDIA 1: E Source employees tell bad first-impression stories

E Sourcers have experienced their fair share of unpleasant first impressions. First, analyst Keenan Samuelson describes a botched introduction for a college leadership organization. Next, business line manager David Podorson recounts a friend’s terrible first date. Then, project coordinator Austin Dever tells the tale of a memorable volleyball game with middle-schoolers. Finally, senior analyst Jeffrey Daigle remembers a faux pas a job candidate made when interviewing for a customer service rep position at a contact center Jeffrey was managing at the time.

Utility customers’ first impression of their energy provider is the start-service experience. If it’s cumbersome and drawn out, customers could expect that all future interactions with their utility will be similarly unpleasant. Don’t underestimate the power of self-service to surprise customers with how easy it is to check “start electric/natural gas service” off their moving list.

Our three-part report series about self-service options for moving transactions provides utility customer experience and marketing professionals insight into how to empower customers to start, stop, or transfer service on their own, giving customers more freedom and control. This functionality can go a long way toward saving your customers time and reducing their stress during a move. Self-service can also save utilities money because, on a per-transaction basis, it’s less expensive than dedicating a call center representative’s time to scheduling a start-, stop-, or transfer-service order.

Part one of the series—Sizing the Adoption Rate Potential for Self-Service Moving Interactions (available to E Source E-Channel Service customers)—covers the potential customer adoption rate of self-service offerings for moving transactions. Part two (available to E Source E-Channel Service customers)—How to Optimize the Customer Experience of Self-Service Moving Interactions—provides best practices on designing and optimizing the customer experience of self-service moving transactions. Part three (available to E Source Residential Marketing Service customers)—How to Market Your Online Start, Stop, or Transfer Service Offering—guides utilities on how to run with that offering by marketing it to the customer segments most likely to participate. Together, these reports provide the strategic insights that utilities need to drive customers to use self-service channels for moving.

Comments

You're right on target here! Great post. Having moved multiple times within and between countries, you often find yourself looking for any experience which is not packed with stress and agro. Finding a friendly, understandingly empathetic self-service "move" option in my new utility company would have made my moves soooo much better. And if it helps me remember other useful things about how to make the move easier, like making the coffee pot easy to find, the better.

Thanks for your comment, Matt! I couldn't agree more. I moved about five months ago, and the checklist gets outrageous. It makes a big difference when starting, stopping, or transferring service with your utility means filling out a simple, easy online form.

Contributing Authors

Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications

Luke Currin leads the strategy and content development for the E Source Residential Marketing, Business Marketing, and Corporate Communications...

Analyst, Customer Experience

Keenan Samuelson focuses on strategies to enhance the utility customer experience. He spends the majority of his time researching how to optimize...