October 24, 2019 | Customer Engagement
Apogee Interactive recently collaborated with NOVEC (Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative) to present a webinar on strategies to keep customers digitally engaged. During the webinar, Apogee’s Senior Account Manager Cindy Smallwood and NOVEC’s Communications Supervisor Matt Robertson discussed what NOVEC does to improve customer satisfaction, increase customer engagement, and create quality content that resonates with customers.
According to Matt, “At NOVEC, we’ve generally found that engaged customers are happier customers.” He continued, “The more informed our customers are, the more tips and tools we provide them, the easier we make their lives, and the more satisfied they are, overall.”
NOVEC overhauled its website in 2016 and saw a large jump in overall customer satisfaction and in their quarterly J.D. Power scores almost instantly. Since then NOVEC has been able to increase monthly calculations on Apogee’s Energy Advisor from ~300 a month to ~3,000. This is in part due to consistent communication, but some of the largest jumps Matt has seen have come from experimenting with a “Bill Analysis” button in the “My Account” area. Most of NOVEC’s members go to novec.com to pay their bill, so placing a button in the “My Account” section where there is high visibility worked well for things like voting, emergency notifications, and driving traffic to their Energy Resource Center.
Another way that NOVEC has promoted digital engagement is by using Google Analytics to track how customers use their website and designing the site so users can get what they need with fewer clicks. The NOVEC website gets over 80,000 hits per month, so it is important to have high-quality graphics and easy to find links. Slider ads on the home page are used to promote programs, tools, and campaign messages. Continuously analyzing how customers use the website and designing it with the customer experience in mind has led to an increase in customer satisfaction.
Another important part of the customer engagement strategy is ensuring a consistent message across various platforms including email, social media, text messaging, and TV and radio advertisements. The communications department works closely with customer service to ensure that the information provided to customers is relevant and consistent. NOVEC measures the effectiveness of these communications by looking at email open rates and customer surveys including customer recall by each communication channel.
Finally, Matt recommends using any available demographic data to see where customers are going for information and leveraging the appropriate platforms to get them what they are looking for. Different customers will use different methods to interact with their utility, so the utility must be prepared to engage with their customers on the customer platform of choice.
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