September 21, 2020 | Low Income
Apogee Interactive in collaboration with Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) and Wells Fargo hosted a webinar on engaging and bringing value to low-income consumers. The event drew more than 100 registrants. The speakers reviewed the impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. economy, utilities, and their income-qualified customers.
Wells Fargo’s Sr. Financial Advisor, Bod Evely started the presentation with some insightful information regarding how the COVID-19 crisis affected the US economy and especially, the low-income segment. Here are some of the highlights:
OPPD’s Sr. Product Specialist – Customer Advocacy Programs, Britton Gabel continued the presentation by explaining his role with OPPD, a public-owned utility, and detailing how OPPD is assisting its customers that are struggling to pay their bills. OPPD has five programs in place to assist customers who experience financial challenges, including income-qualified energy assistance, energy efficiency, low use – low bill credits, safe neighbor funds, level payment plans, and payment plan arrangements. Through these programs, OPPD is currently focusing on finding efficiencies, improving customer relationships, and achieving growth. OPPD is expanding its coverage and that of community-based organizations to ensure customers have easy access to these programs across their entire service territory. They are finding the most effective administrative models for program funds, improving processes, and collaborating with other utilities and the State of Nebraska to help their programs succeed.
Apogee’s Executive VP, Jim Malcom presented strategies that have proven successful for his clients using Apogee’s digital outbound communications platform for engaging and communicating with low-income customers. “When we are talking about how to engage, we look at ways that are meaningful to the customer. The message must be personalized and relevant, timely, and something that a customer can easily implement at a low cost,” Jim Malcom stated. Apogee delivers most of the content through emails with video or by text. Surveys taken by the customers at the end of the message proved the strategy works:
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