By Allison Herdic, Industry Researcher –
A wise individual once said, “Life is a marathon, not a sprint.” The same could be said for mid-sized business customer experience cultivation. Building relationships and trust requires time, and perhaps more importantly, effort. Just as a dedicated triathlete prepares for a race through countless hours on the track, bike or in the pool, organizations that aspire to delight customers must show up time and time again ready to serve.
Residential customer experiences receive a lot of attention, and appropriately so. But what are utilities doing to get to know their mid-sized business segment on a more personal level? Undeniably, bolstering these connections is certainly not an easy task accomplished overnight. After all, mid-sized business owners and managers are very busy individuals. Overseeing day-to-day operations can be an all-encompassing task.
However, some utilities have found, through intentionality, that connecting with mid-sized businesses can be accomplished through hard work and persistence. For some, like Spokane, Wash.-based Avista Utilities, this involves sending representatives directly to a mid-sized business customers’ doorstep to explain cost-saving energy efficiency opportunities. For another utility, San Francisco-based PG&E, MSB connections have been strengthened through a team of recently assembled Mid-Market Advisors responsible for serving customers in their local communities, building one-on-one relationships and helping customers navigate through complex utility issues.
Other utilities are aspiring to better serve mid-sized businesses with thorough and/or proactive communications. Newark, N.J.-based Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) has a long-standing and well-received commitment to delivering proactive email communications to business customers. Phoenix-based Salt River Project (SRP) has committed to proactively communicating with its business customers regarding outages and has simultaneously achieved great success in building its database of mid-sized business customer emails and/or text-capable phone numbers.
Looking to take your utility’s mid-sized business relationship to the next level? Look no further than Chartwell’s recently published analysis on Business Customer Care – Improving Service to Mid-size Business Customers – Trends and Opportunities – 2017. Packed with proven strategies (including a deeper look at those referenced above), the analysis provides a current and relevant snapshot of some of the industry’s best practices.
This detailed report was just added to Chartwell’s Energy Library, available to Chartwell members. Interested in learning more about Chartwell research? Contact Chartwell’s Research Manager Suzanne Haggerty to learn about the wealth of information our organization has compiled on utility customer care over more than two decades of research.