This special interest group is where customer care professionals share tactics on how utilities are improving interactions with their customers. 

Question

Do you think customers participate in our Beyond-The-Meter programs because of our trust relationship?

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Special Note: This question was posed during a recent Energy Central PowerSession: Maximizing Beyond-the-Meter Revenue Opportunities

The PowerSession was so lively and packed with great information that the panelists were not able to address all the questions live, so we thought we would bring the question into the community. By posting the question in the community, anyone can follow the Q&A and or even participate. 

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Yes, absolutely.  Utilities have garnered a huge trust factor over time with their customers which puts them in a very unique position to offer a variety of value-added solutions.  Based on our 28 years of experience, I'd be happy to share data showing the impact from our warranty programs comparing branded and non-branded partnerships demonstrating the impact of utility trust.  Feel free to reach out to me at robert.gilpin@amwater.com  

Beyond the Meter programs succeed where the customer trusts the utility to offer helpful services, and the utility engages customers as relevant moments in time. For example, a new utility customer usually needs help resolving a number of move related tasks, so utilities that supply those types of services during the new energy start call benefit the customer right when the need that type of help.  

Data and polling suggest that utilities have the benefit of the trust of their customers on a range of product and service recommendations, not just strictly related to the commodity product, but also related to the safety, security, comfort, and maintenance of their homes.  Utilities get the first call when setting up service for a new residence, and get the first call when something about that home gets compromised like an outage, severe weather and other conditions.  As a result, consumers tend to trust utilities with an array of questions about their homes, and utilities can offer beyond the meter programs that connect to that customer register.

That's a reason why Beyond the Meter offers like repair and protection plans, energy efficiency and conservation products, and contractor referrals seem to do well in utility marketplaces.  Customers who are aware of those programs trust the utility to give good advice, and offer products and services that fit their needs.  

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