When we think of utility customers, we immediately think of the hardworking homeowners, families, business owners, and renters. We see them in houses, buildings, and apartments in big cities, small towns, and suburbs across the country. We see how busy they are juggling their day-to-day life and spending quality time with loved ones and friends.
While utilities appreciate their business and their monthly payments, have we ever asked ourselves what the utility customer REALLY wants?
At first, it’s easy to list off a few basic requirements such as reliable service, cheaper bills, or a customer service team that is readily available without any hold times. At the core of the relationship between utility and customer, that is all correct and fair to claim. What loyal customer doesn’t want those things?
However, have we ever considered there is MORE to it than that? Did we ever think that there is a deeper meaning and bigger reason for these requirements? Perhaps, even though the utility customer would love to see lower prices, never-failing service, and have a customer service rep at their beck and call, their true desires lie a bit deeper than that.
Utility customers seek a partnership. Sure, they are required to pay a utility if they expect using energy in their homes or buildings but that doesn’t mean they seek MORE from their assigned utility company. While paying for a service that supports a full life, they also expect guidance on how they can improve their energy use, advice on products available to make their homes more energy-efficient, and support when they need it most.
It may surprise many just how much business owners and homeowners (and even renters!) rely on their utility for their expertise. They see them as their trusted advisors in the energy space. Besides, should they turn to anyone else besides their energy provider for energy-saving advice? No way!
This leads us to another question. HOW do utilities become advisors to their customers? What kind of tools and resources can they provide to their customers to guide them on their energy efficiency journey?
An online utility marketplace is a fantastic tool that checks off multiple needs of customers: a resource to purchase discounted energy efficiency products, information on how to use products and new habits to save energy as they browse and shop, and a way to lower their utility bills once items they shop for are installed in their homes.
With a marketplace in the utility’s toolbelt, the utility instantly gains respect from its customers and provides them with a one-stop-shop for education, tools, and products to improve their lives. That means instant support is provided, making the customer feel considered and taken care of – something that is much appreciated when times get tough.
We are very excited to be able to combine the convenience of online shopping with the importance of energy and water efficiency. Customers can have a personalized shopping experience and know they are purchasing high-end products that will help them save energy and water.Steve Z. General Manager of Glendale Water & Power
We had just moved to our new home and really needed to shore up the heating system, figure out how we could afford new windows (they were original), and find out why our heat never stayed in the house. We worked with MassSave and EFI to assess our home, qualify for, and fulfill a heat loan. We were up and running with a new heating system, with a zero interest heat loan in about a week! This couldn't have been easier, and, to be honest, more needed. Thank you EFI and MassSave!Ryan D, Mass Save Marketplace Customer
We’re excited to partner with EFI! Using our existing programs, customers have saved millions of dollars in energy costs over the years. The PPL Marketplace certainly will add to those savings.Mary Ann M. Manager of PPL’s residential EE programs
We worked with EFI to create a product marketplace to offer our customer base an easy to use shopping portal. Our goal this year was to move 500K bulbs across all of our jurisdictions, and the EFI's marketplace and marketing expertise ensured that that number was hit by Q3. These guys know what they are doing, its just that simple.Ron S. Manager – Planning and Evaluation
I am always very happy with your service. I am proud that you want to help us save energy - I bought a ton of light bulbs. Thank you for being one of the few services I use that I can feel good about!Tracey Kitchens - Duke Energy Marketplace Customer
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