In the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted lives and industries worldwide, changing the way we live, learn, work, and purchase goods. In the wake of these changes, we saw utility companies positively adapt, finding new and improved ways to engage with customers, save them energy, and meet their new and evolving needs. As COVID continues and with colder days ahead, we cannot predict what challenges may arise. In these uncertain times, utility companies need to be prepared with the tools and technology to meet evolved customer expectations and remain a trusted, stable energy provider in a time of need. Are utilities prepared?
First things first, do you know what utility customers really want? Affordable bills, dependable service, and reliable customer service go without saying. But in this digital age, there is less tolerance for wasted time and money and customers want more.
Utility Customers Want Your Expertise: Who should customers turn to but their utility company for energy-saving tips, programs, and products? Be sure your website, marketplace, social channels, and customer service reps are all equipped with the energy-efficiency info your customers crave. Review your marketplace product offering as well. It should be regularly refreshed with new and innovative products that will help your customers maximize savings.
Utility Customers Want Speed: Whether in the form of shipping, an answer to a question, or a quick way to pay the bill, customers want what they want - fast! In these times, user-friendly, mobile-friendly websites and utility marketplaces are key. Customers don’t want to spend an hour searching for an answer or 4-6 weeks waiting for their mail-in rebate, so give them what they need up front.
Customers Want Answers: Customers are accustomed to getting instant answers on a variety of channels. Though you may not be able to offer 24/7 live customer service, you can offer up-to-date social media channels and a website that prominently addresses common questions. This allows for quick and convenient self-service and more satisfied customers.
Adapted from Utilitec’s Why Customer Experience Should Matter to Utilities 
So what does it come down do? Convenience, communication, and a great customer experience. Now, more than ever, you need digital tools to meet these evolved customer needs and expectations. That’s where we come in.
EFI’s utility marketplaces are a seamless extension of your brand and meet several customer needs, as they are a resource for discounted energy-saving products, education, and tools. They are also a positive way to engage with customers and offer them a quick, convenient, contact-free way to shop from virtually anywhere.
According to Oberlo , the number of online shoppers is expected to reach 2.05 billion in 2020. What’s more, between April and May of 2020, utility marketplaces saw a 20% increase in sales when many were turning to online shopping due to COVID-19 restrictions.
With the pandemic still ongoing and many still preferring to shop safely online, these numbers could very well rise. If you do not have an online marketplace to offer your customers, now is the time!
Kits consist of a collection of energy-efficiency products to help your customers save. You personalize your messaging and choose the products, and we brand, assemble, and safely ship the kits to your customers’ doorsteps. Because they are so convenient, they proved to be highly effective in strengthening utility-customer relationships and sustaining energy-efficiency efforts during the height of social distancing.
Kits are a utility-client win-win and offer endless possibilities as a positive customer touchpoint. To learn more about the tools, technology, and services EFI offers to help boost utility customer experience, contact us.
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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