What’s the first thing that comes to mind when the power goes out? Whoa, that’s not a nice word! Okay, what’s the second thing?
When the lights go out, the TV goes dark, and the air conditioner shuts down, consumers want their utility to know about it, and they want immediate answers to their questions about when the power will be back on. Leading utilities are implementing excellent systems that make outage reporting and viewing status updates convenient and easy for customers—so easy that they don’t even have to speak with a call center rep. These self-service platforms feature online tools, text notifications, and mobile apps, and they empower customers with control and information. But they have to be as effective as interacting with a real person.
We recently published a series of reports to help utilities understand their customers’ preferences when it comes to outage self-service channels, optimize the customer experience with a self-service platform, and effectively market these platforms. Each report applies to a different stage in the development and implementation of a successful outage self-service platform, but each stage is vital for creating a successful offering. Check out all three reports:
- Customer Preferences and Proactive Communications for Self-Service Outage Interactions (available to members of the E Source E-Channel Service)
- How to Design and Optimize the Outage Self-Service Customer Experience (available to members of the E Source E-Channel Service)
- How to Market Your Self-Service Outage Offering (available to members of the E Source Residential Marketing Service)
In the marketing report, we highlight how utilities are using social and digital media channels to communicate about their outage self-service offerings. Philly-based PECO, for example, doesn’t simply tell its customers they can now receive text message updates during outages. The utility goes a step further by situating its notification-by-text offering into a larger story about grid modernization. In one Facebook post, PECO mentioned that it can text you outage updates and explained that its work with microgrids could significantly reduce outages in the future.
Giving customers the big picture can help them understand that your outage offering is part of your utility’s efforts to become more efficient and customer-focused. Be sure to read these three reports if you need to create a top-notch outage self-service platform and effectively market it so customers don’t feel left in the dark the next time the power goes out.