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Question

What have you learned about your customers in the past year that you didn't know before?

Posted to Energy Central in the Customer Care Group
Matt Chester's picture
Energy Analyst Chester Energy and Policy

Official Energy Central Community Manager of Generation and Energy Management Networks. Matt is an energy analyst in Orlando FL (by way of Washington DC) working as an independent energy...

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The official 'Get to Know Your Customers Day' is recognized the third Thursday of every month, which happens to be today!

Amid a tumultuous and uncertain year, the utility sector has done everything possible to keep customers at the center of decisions, initiatives, and more. The customers have no doubt appreciated that, but the change in 'business as usual' has no doubt uncovered some new realities and truths about the utility relationship with customers. 

So, I'm curious as a way to recognize 'Get to Know Your Customers Day' if you can share any insights about what you newly learned about your customers that you didn't know before the past year? Are there any assumptions that turned out to be wrong, any habits that you didn't anticipate, any inherent truths that were newly uncovered?

Let's share our lessons learned and know our customers better as the best way possible to celebrate them. 

Great question Matt! It has been quite an eye-opening year in many ways. 

The biggest customer revelation we saw was a rapid acceleration in digital engagement in 2020. Email open rates hit record highs last spring (40% open rate in March), eNewsletter engagement was off the charts (37% open rate), and customers were especially interested in energy efficiency content as they spent more time at home and shifted work to home offices. When the crisis hit, customers were eager to hear from their energy provider. 

The lingering impact has been increased conversions for digital services like My Account and eBill. During the initial months of the pandemic we saw a 20% increase in the open rate for eBill campaigns and a 53% increase in click-to-open rate for the entire year. We expect customer interest in convenient, hands-free services like this to grow into lasting digital relationships with their energy providers.