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Communications Breakdown: It’s Always the Same

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Stuck at home on a sick day, I took some time recently to look at the emails I receive in both my personal and work accounts.

As you might imagine, there’s a lot. As you also might imagine, not even counting spam, there are plenty of emails I almost always delete automatically.

Some of that is my fault and some isn’t. Yes, I’ve signed up for many of the emails I’ve received, although more than half I never wanted in the first place.

So I spent a lot of time unsubscribing to assorted emails.

And that got me thinking about what the ideal amount of communication should be from a company to its customers.

In most cases, companies – although not necessarily utilities – communicate too often.

Case in point: I bought some shirts online recently and was pleased with the quality, so I signed up for emails from the company. But instead of getting the occasional sales pitch, I received at least one email a day. A “special offer” isn’t so special if another one is arriving the next day. I soon unsubscribed.

The shirt company wasn’t alone. Companies big and small were contacting me daily. I unsubscribed to most.

Granted, utilities aren’t going to be pitching services all the time, but less sometimes is more when it comes to communications.

That might mean a more passive approach. You want information to get out about your utility, but you don’t have to constantly be pushing it into customers’ faces.

Have the information there for your customers when they need it. They can always turn to your website or social media if they want to get some piece of information.

Now, your utility isn’t likely emailing your customers too often, but if do, you might want to consider the frequency with which you do so.

Of course, you need to be flexible. In times of crisis, such as weather-related outages or possible power shutdowns because of wildfire concerns, you need to be front and center keeping customers informed.

Thankfully, those are rare times for most utilities.

Andy Gotlieb's picture

Thank Andy for the Post!

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