Conservation Think Tank: News, Ideas and Solutions for Energy and Water Company Thought Leaders

What a National Emergency Has Taught Us About Customer Engagement and Achieving Savings

Posted by Jamie Mascarin

The first quarter of 2020 has been one for the history books. A month ago, we were celebrating the recently passed new year and kicking off aggressive plans for reaching our even more aggressive goals. As a nation, we are programmed to achieve more and do better each year than we did the year before. And some—if not most—of us believe we have the answers to all the unknowns. Our back-up plans have plans, and we have assurances in place that protect us from emergencies.

In the blink of an eye, the nation was thrust into an unprecedented situation. Within a week, we went from full-steam ahead to a national emergency and a nationwide shut-down. Over 200 million Americans are either working from home or not working at all. And suddenly, our aggressive plans for 2020 have been put on hold while we as a nation take a look at how we could have better prepared for the unknown.

Utilities across the country have been forced to put an entire portfolio of resource savings programs on pause to allow for social distancing. And yet at the same time, residential customers and businesses alike are in search of any opportunity available to help them save money on their utility bills.

As a nationwide conservation company, AM Conservation Group has seen first-hand how this emergency has affected both our utility clients and your customers. We have had a front row seat to what works, and what doesn’t. And you might be surprised to learn you can still meet your goals and bring a greater level of engagement to your customers while in the midst of a nationwide emergency.

While most utilities across the country are shutting down programs, the standouts have managed to seamlessly bring their communities together, provide customers with immediate savings, and offer a helping hand—all without stepping foot in customers’ homes or places of business. After all, when we get to the other side of the pandemic, you want your customers to view you as a trusted energy advisor, not the source of their stress.

What we have learned from this national emergency is that kit programs offer a path forward for savings and engagement. Utility customers have become a captive audience, actively looking to their utility for the answer and finding kit programs to be the solution.

Kit programs offer the following benefits:

Cost-effective, streamlined delivery. Kit programs are delivered directly to the hands of your customers, providing energy and water savings measures that generate immediate savings when it is needed the most. In addition, when you include energy education along with the kit, your customers are given the opportunity to take control of their energy use, providing savings into the future.

Full customization. Kit programs are fully customizable, allowing you to get creative with the types of measures you provide to your customers. You can send a kit full of emergency preparedness items, like solar-powered charging banks, or deliver a variety of measures like LED light bulbs, advanced power strips and furnace filter whistles, all designed to provide your customers with maximum savings. If your goal is to provide your customers with energy savings while ensuring they have a positive memory of your utility, you can even include custom-branded measures like LED night lights.

Engaging messaging. While you are actively keeping a physical distance from your customers, kit programs deliver timely messaging along with energy savings. This is the chance to get valuable utility messaging into the hands of your customers at a time and place that is convenient for them. Want to invite your business and residential customers to engage in additional programs offered by your utility when this emergency passes? Kit programs are a cost-effective marketing opportunity to spread the word. Or maybe you just want to deliver a supportive message, letting your customers know you are their trusted, energy advisor both today and in the future. Kit programs are your avenue.

All-inclusive. Kit programs are all-inclusive, incorporating marketing, program delivery, energy education, and verified savings all in one pretty package, requiring very few resources from your utility. Customers can enroll in the program by phone, online, via mobile, or whichever method is most convenient for them. And kits are shipped to their doorstep within days, not weeks.

While this pandemic is unprecedented in that the entire world has been affected, no country is immune to emergency. Each year, individual communities face their own emergencies that cause populations to rethink their priorities. Kit programs offer immediate relief during times of emergency and continue to provide savings after those emergencies have passed.

Ready to get kits delivered to your customers? Contact us to get started.

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