Successful initiatives at Minnesota Energy Resources and a large Northeast utility prove that intelligent and personalized direct-to-customer energy assessments can engage hard-to-reach customers, providing an effective “front door” to utility customer programs and measurably increasing customer satisfaction.
Meet Engage Direct, personalized 1-to-1 engagement that educates and activates traditionally passive customers. Proven highly effective in reaching utility customers that do not interact with their utility online, Engage Direct embodies the utility-of-the-future trend: one in which customer choice, efficiency and renewable options, and connected homes and devices provide an unprecedented level of control to the energy consumer.
Engage Direct enhances EnergySavvy’s popular Optix Engage online energy assessment, already in use by 25 electric and gas utilities and state programs nationwide. The Engage Direct experience is simple for customers. First, a customer completes the no-cost home energy survey and mails it back. Then, the customer receives a personalized report in the mail identifying specific energy saving options and utility demand side management (DSM) programs that are a fit. For the utility, all customer-reported data is securely stored and accessible through the Engage Analytics portal, making Optix Engage a powerful tool for segmenting and matching utility customers with the right utility programs.
Utilities are welcoming the high performance delivered by Engage Direct. In initial deployments at both Minnesota Energy Resources and a large investor-owned utility in the Northeast, mailings achieved a response rate of 17%, far exceeding the typical rate for direct mail of just one to two percent. And customers love it. Notably, in a follow-up survey in Minnesota, those who completed Engage Direct reported 18% higher satisfaction with their utility than a control group.
The response rate from Engage Direct was much higher than we expected and it drove a significant percentage of our customers to our website. We were able to engage traditionally hard-to-reach customers including seniors and lower income, exactly the types of customers who may benefit most from our energy saving programs.
Jim Phillippo, Minnesota Energy Resources
Complementary to other utility engagement initiatives—like home energy reports that employ neighbor-to-neighbor comparisons to passively engage and positively impact behavior over time—Engage Direct begins an active conversation with customers about energy usage and how the utility’s programs can help them improve.
“Engage Direct lets utilities start an active conversation about energy with customers they’re not already interacting with online,” said Scott Case, EnergySavvy’s Chief Operating Officer. “It’s simple and easy, a great outreach tool not just for low-income and elderly populations, but also makes sense for community events, in-school programs and annual mailings.”
Join us for a webinar on Engaging ALL of Your Customers, coming up on September 2.