The Importance of Utility Customer Engagement
Today, personalization is the key to attracting and retaining customers across all industries — including utilities. According to McKinsey research, 71% of customers expect personalized services from the companies they choose to patronize. One of the best ways to jump on this trend is to work on improving customer engagement.
Increasing customer engagement through digital touchpoints will be critical for utilities moving forward. But what does it mean to have an engaged customer base? This post will explain what customer engagement looks like as well as provide some tips for how to improve.
What Is Customer Engagement for Utilities?
Simply defined, customer engagement refers to the relationship your company has with its customer base. Here are some examples of what customer engagement can look like:
- Regular logins: Engaged customers regularly use your self-service tools to pay bills, manage account information or check for new messages.
- Opening emails: High-performing email campaigns are one of the most reliable signs of customer engagement.
- Social media interactions: An engaged customer will follow your company’s social media pages and interact with your posts.
- Participation in programs and services: Customers who are engaged with your company are more likely to take advantage of offerings like energy efficiency evaluations.
- Reviews and testimonials: Whether a customer is satisfied or frustrated, posting a review of your company is a sure sign they are engaged. You can also use these posts to your advantage by implementing the feedback you receive.
Every interaction you have with your customers has the potential to impact engagement in some way. For example, if a possible customer clicks on to your website and can easily find the information they need, they’re more likely to continue browsing — resulting in high engagement.
Benefits of Customer Engagement for Utilities
Engaging your customers can help your company in many different ways. Here are the two biggest benefits of investing in customer engagement strategies.
Improved Customer Retention
The more engaged your customers are, the more satisfied they’ll be with your company. And satisfied customers are significantly more likely to be loyal customers.
Highly engaged customers can also help you continuously improve your services, which in turn can help drive higher engagement. For example, you could send a customer experience survey to your email list asking customers what they like and dislike about working with your company.
In addition to boosting customer satisfaction, high customer engagement can also help you bring in more cash.
Retaining your existing customers is more profitable than acquiring new ones. A loyal, engaged customer base is more likely to repeat purchases or upgrade when they know they can trust your company.
Engaged customers are also more likely to take advantage of additional services from your company, which can provide even more opportunities for generating revenue.
5 Effective Digital Customer Engagement Strategies
Personalization is the key to driving high engagement, so your team should focus on finding ways to tailor each touchpoint to individual customers’ needs and preferences. Here are five strategies you can use to boost engagement with new and existing customers.
1. Maximizing the Welcome Email
When new customers sign on to your services, it’s essential to make a good first impression. An engaging welcome email can generate interest in your company and get customers excited to work with you.
This is also the best time to gather customer data for future personalization. You can embed a form that asks customers to share information about themselves, their preferences and their household’s unique needs.
2. Providing Useful Content
Publishing informative, educational content to your website and social media pages shows your expertise as an industry leader, demonstrating to customers that they can trust you — and trust boosts engagement.
You can also help customers by showing them how to get the most out of your services. For example, you could make a step-by-step video that walks new customers through the process of setting up and managing their accounts.
3. Keeping Customers Informed
Mobile alerts and notifications can help keep customers up to date with important news. For example, if your company experiences an unplanned outage, you can push out an SMS notification to all subscribing customers to let them know what’s happening.
By prioritizing transparency in your communications, you demonstrate to your customers that they can trust your company, which can help build loyalty and increase retention.
One way to quickly boost engagement is to run an opt-in campaign for your mobile application or notification system. Encourage new and existing customers to sign up for mobile notifications by offering a small discount for SMS subscribers.
4. Expanding Your Online Presence
For most customers, your website is the first point of contact they have with your company. You want to make sure your website is attractive and easily navigable to prevent visitors from clicking away. Update your website frequently with new content to drive traffic and entice customers to come back.
That’s where WebPresence from Muni-Link can help. Our user-friendly content management system (CMS) makes it easy for utility companies to publish fresh, engaging content that draws in a new audience. With an extensive library of free content templates, a streamlined notification setup wizard and a knowledgeable support team, WebPresence is an excellent tool for driving website engagement.
5. Investing in Cloud-Based Billing Software
Thanks to smartphones, we’re constantly taking everything on the go. That’s what makes cloud-based utility billing software such a great investment. Because their information is stored in the cloud, customers can manage their accounts from anywhere, on any internet-connected device.
Investing in a comprehensive cloud-based billing solution like Muni-Link can help boost customer engagement. With our convenient self-service portal, customers can access and manage their accounts whenever and wherever they like.
Plus, our dedication to data security can help assure customers that their information is safe from falling into the wrong hands, which is essential for building and maintaining a trusting relationship.
Enhance the Utility Customer Experience With Muni-Link
In today’s increasingly digital utilities landscape, taking advantage of tech tools is one of the best ways to prepare your company to continue providing excellent customer service. That’s why we created Muni-Link.
We developed our industry-leading software with input from four Municipal Authorities, which allowed us to create a solution that addresses key pain points for utilities providers and customers alike. And because our team works tirelessly to continuously improve our software with monthly updates, we can help you tackle new and emerging challenges within the industry.
Are you looking for comprehensive utilities customer engagement solutions? Contact us today to schedule a live demo of our industry-leading utility customer engagement software.