Hydro-Québec increases self-service address changes by 62%

Rebecca Harris, Research Analyst –

Moving start-service transactions from the contact center to the web can result in significant utility savings — an average of $4.28 per transaction, according to recent Chartwell findings. To decrease its own costs and strain on the contact center, Hydro-Québec increased the number of online address changes by eliminating online moving fees and revamping its marketing campaign. Hydro-Québec took home Chartwell’s 2017 Bronze Award in Program Marketing for its efforts.

Historically, approximately 250,000 calls are placed to Hydro-Québec between May and September for address changes, resulting in annual handling costs of $3.5 million. Hydro-Québec’s online move-in/move-out portal launched in 2008, but, despite annual advertising campaigns, use stalled at just under 16%.

Martine Chartrand, Manager of Digital Strategy and Customer Offers, recognized an opportunity to increase self-service by saving customers money. Working with its regulator, Hydro-Québec eliminated administrative fees for address changes and new accounts for residential customers willing to complete the transaction through the Hydro-Québec web portal.

Chartrand’s team paired fee removal with a new marketing campaign. The campaign ran from April to September, targeting cities with the most rental units. It included advertisements on Hydro-Québec’s website, in urban transit locations, social media, radio, on Hydro-Québec’s IVR, through bill inserts and in customer newsletters. Hydro-Québec tracked weekly transactions, adjusting advertisements and solving customer issues.

Online move-in transactions increased 62% from 2015 to 2016. Hydro-Québec continued its advertising strategy in 2017, increasing web presence around college move-in dates. Even with fewer address changes overall, self-service address changes exceed 2016 numbers.

If you’re interested in learning more about Hydro-Québec’s award-winning strategy, download Chartwell’s most recent Best Practices report on the EnergyLibrary (member login required).

If you’d like to dive deeper and collaborate with other utilities on creating industry-leading start service, join Chartwell’s Customer Experience Leadership Council. For more information, contact Tim Herrick at therrick@chartwellinc.com.

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