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Personalisation pays off for utilities by driving significantly higher customer satisfaction, engagement and energy-saving actions, according to a new study released by technology firm Uplight.

Personalisation is a stronger predictor of customer satisfaction than contact frequency, bill payment method, and other demographic and household characteristics.

Customers who rated their utility communications as highly personalised had 28% higher ratings of overall utility satisfaction than those who rated communications as less personalised.

Personalisation is also a significant driver of energy reduction actions, with customers who perceive communications and experiences to be customized being 24% more likely to take action on email tips and invest in energy-saving products.

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Other key study findings include:

  • Up to 50% of customers say their home energy usage has increased since the onset of COVID-19, and 36% report an increased number of household members working from home
  • The pandemic has also disrupted consumer focus on energy management with 48% of customers stating they are monitoring their energy usage less despite this increase in usage
  • More than ever, utilities need to break through the noise to find ways to engage their customers with personalised usage information and recommendations for reducing energy use
  • Distributed energy resources are becoming more mainstream. The overwhelming majority of customers, 69%, either own or are considering purchasing a smart thermostat, electric vehicle, rooftop solar, or household energy storage product
  • One in three say they check their utility website for rebates or offers before making a purchase, highlighting both progress for utilities, who historically have not been heavily involved in product purchases, as well as an opportunity to continue to build their profile as the go-to source for energy product information
  • Consumer education on the benefits of distributed energy resources is much needed now and in the future more than ever. Up to 27% of customers stated they do not know what household energy storage is.

The study is based on a survey of 1,000 utility customers in the US.