There is a sea change underway in the utility and energy industries right now, from the evolution of the regulatory construct all the way to the competitive landscape. Utility companies are scrambling to keep up with trends in technology and more, while simultaneously striving to meet customer retention and acquisition benchmarks. Companies that are ahead of the curve are looking to emerging technologies and even new business models in order to meet customer demands and build loyalty. The evolution of customer interface and service differentiation are two by-products of fierce competition across the board. Educated, highly aware customers now have the upper hand, and they are demanding access to information and heightened service options. This mindset spans all demographics and generations to a certain degree. They are looking for convenience through technology, immediate gratification, a “great deal” and even recognition and appreciation for their own actions. Becoming proactive and progressive with customer engagement is a big part of staying on top in this industry. Utility companies can take advantage of innovations in the consumer engagement space, such as mobile technology, virtual rewards and smartphone apps for account management and more. In order to streamline the user experience – and encourage behavior that benefits the company as a whole (such as eBilling and auto bill pay) – companies need to offer rewards that resonate with their target audiences. Today’s incentives and rewards landscape has the potential to effectively engage consumers, while extending a company’s brand through customization, dynamic messaging and positive user experiences. Instant, virtual rewards can engage customers on their own preferred digital turf in tangible ways that impact bottom lines. Influencing behavior and creating brand loyalty can be accomplished by providing the right rewards at the right time. By implementing the right customer rewards and incentives program, utility companies should be able to: • Maximize engagement through customization & personalization • Provide multiple methods of participation • Ensure there is a mobile component to the program • Offer compelling and diverse rewards • Leverage all communication opportunities with the customer
How can the increasingly competitive utility companies keep up?
Finding a reward program that meets customer demands, including the above points, is a vital step in the process as the industry continues to move forward.