The cover story for the April issue of American Gas magazine, titled “How Engaging Are You?” features three AGA member companies—Con Edison, Alliant Energy and Pepco Holdings—in their quest to offer innovative programs to provide an engaging user experience for their customers.
In January 2015, Con Edison created a unique strategy to gain insight and feedback from their customers through the Con Edison Advisory Community, an online panel designed to deliver an enhanced customer experience benefitting both customers and internal stakeholders. Since its inception, Con Edison has recruited almost 11,000 customers who interact through weekly topics delivered via online surveys. After gaining insight and feedback from these surveys, the utility is embarking on a complete redesign of its website and mobile channels in order to meet customers’ evolving needs. The site will provide customers with a simple, intuitive experience, improved mobile access, personalized content and better energy management tools in order to provide a positive, engaging user experience.
At Madison, Wisconsin-based Alliant Energy Corp., customers are taking part in a one-year pilot program called the Alliant Energy Advisor, which is designed to help engage the end-user in customized approaches to energy efficiency. As part of the program, 3,500 Alliant Energy residential customers have been able to monitor their own personalized plans for saving energy with the goal to complete at least one energy-efficient project throughout the year. This includes commitments from changing light bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps or installing faucet aerators and tank insulation. As a result, participants have saved more than 525,000 kWh and 32,000 therms.
At Pepco Holdings Inc., reliability is a constant focus. According to William Stefy, the process owner of customer experience, insights come from four primary channels: transactional surveys, quarterly customer satisfaction surveys, focus groups and online panels. The goal of this survey work is to understand what customers want and need, as well as exchange and embrace customer feedback based on their experiences. This data gathering ultimately helps Pepco communicate with consumers in a more timely and personal way.
Customer engagement is a top priority for natural gas utilities and it is evident through the success of these programs. The valuable work our member companies are doing to boost customer loyalty and satisfaction is important and allows for our consumers to engage with their utilities with a more meaningful and creative approach.
To learn more about these customer engagement efforts, you can read the April cover story here.