Apogee Newsletter Aug 2020

August 11, 2020 | Newsletter

A Message from Susan Gilbert, CEO

Humbled by our Customers!

We asked the CEO of one of our longest-standing clients if he would say a few words of introduction for us at an APOGEE Institute Webinar we are conducting in early August. We generally work with managers and directors of customer services and marketing, and were delighted to learn that Chip Jakins, CEO Jackson EMC, of one of the nation’s largest and most progressive electric cooperatives, was well aware of the services we have provided to them for over 20 years!

Listen to his kind and complimentary words:

Utilities Get Good Marks for COVD-19 Response

Right now, as we type this August update, it’s not over. We thought it would be behind us by now, but are still social distancing and wearing masks to stay safe and prevent spreading the virus. However, as states started easing lockdown restrictions, it does feel a little like we are getting our lives back. It’s a good time to assess our industry’s response during these troubling times.

Starting with ourselves at Apogee Interactive, we always strive to put our clients first. When the pandemic first emerged, Apogee conducted a survey asking our utility clients what the biggest challenges they were facing at the time were. The most common answer was communicating with their customers, followed by the need to assist customers financially. Our response to this situation, as I mentioned in our June Newsletter, was the decision to offer our personalized video messaging service AT NO COST to any of our clients that would like to deploy it. And fortunately, many of them stepped up and leveraged our solution!

By taking a proactive approach, Apogee adapted its service as needed, providing utilities a four-to-six month communication plan around COVID-19 messaging configured to each utility’s needs. With regards to our flagship solution, the Targeted Video Bill Explanation combined with clips that promote utilities’ heartwarming initiatives in response to COVID-19, customer engagement and satisfaction levels have been outstanding:

  • 29% click-through rates, 14X higher than the industry standard

  • 99% request they continue receiving videos

  • 95% of customers found the video messages easy to understand

  • 91% rate them very or somewhat useful

  • 50% of customers report their perception of their utility improved

  • 89% report don’t need to contact customer call center about their bill.

    Energy consumers’ feedback has also been very rewarding, revealing how important it is for end-users to receive proactive, personalized and thoughtful communications that can help them manage their energy and bills, especially under the current circumstances! Here are just a couple of comments they left us via a follow-up survey:

“It was great to see how having additional guests have affected our bill.”

“Excellent customer service communication. Very much appreciated.”

“The information was positive and encouraging.”

“Thank you for taking the time to send me that.”

During these challenging times, utilities are deploying remarkable programs, communications, and outreach that customers greatly appreciate and need. The industry’s response to the pandemic helped it achieve the highest level of customer trust and advocacy ever measured (Source: Cogent Syndicated Utility Response to COVID-19 Pandemic by Escalent), and we are greatly proud and happy that Apogee is here to play its part until we eventually get back to normal!

For more heartwarming utility initiatives, read Apogee’s latest blog here:

 

9 Heartwarming Utility Initiatives in response to COVID-19 that Exceeded Expectations

Some Humor to Brighten Your Day

 

When I shared this harrowing video with a friend, his reply to me was, “Wow, that was dangerous!! She isn’t wearing a MASK!”

Apogee and Eversource team up on ESC Webathon!

In early June, Apogee and Eversource had the opportunity to present “Gas Conversion Uncovered” at the ESC three day Webathon. The session focused on how the Gas Business Unit at Eversource used the creation of their own microsite, combined with driving people to part of the Apogee solution, to increase gas conversions.

Jerry Graham, Marketing Analyst at Eversource told his story of how the microsite went from concept to a valuable asset, and Kim Johnson of Apogee, discussed the trend of success discovered through the Apogee analytics. If you’d like to hear the story, the link to the presentation is below.

Kim Johnson, Key Account Manager, Northeast

Kim Johnson serves utilities in the Northeast providing customer engagement solutions that align with utility goals. She has a strong background in helping organizations design and implement their digital strategies, and a passion for building long-term relationships. Current utility initiatives keeping her busy are:
rate transformation, COVID-19 messaging, encouraging customer self-service, customer satisfaction, and energy education. Kim resides in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New Hampshire.

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