Customer Outreach: You Reap What You Sow

AdminCustomer, Customers, Utility Communications, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

Ever wonder why some companies emerge from crises faster, with more of their reputation intact, while others die a death of a thousand cuts? The answer can be found in the adage, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” You can find all kinds of validation of that simple premise. Recently, I was reminded of it while writing an article … Read More

Boost Your Marketing ROI with Hero’s Journey Storytelling

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When developing content to market customer programs, there are several options for energy company marketers and communicators. One approach is straightforward, fact-based and quantitative: “You will save about $250 per year if you enroll in this program.” Another is the lifestyle pitch: “You can shift your energy use to off-peak periods of the day and you won’t even notice it.” … Read More

Getting Outside Yourself: Customer Communications

AdminBlog, Customer, Customers, Utility Communications, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

Maybe you’ve heard the phrase, “Get over yourself” sometime in your life. Today I’m going to adapt that and say, when writing for customers or other external stakeholders, “Get outside yourself.” Years ago, when I was a communicator at an electric company, a communications consultant would pop in now and then to help us sharpen our messaging. More than a … Read More

Customer Satisfaction: Fixing Small Problems Before They Become Big Ones

AdminBlog, Customer, Utility Communications, Utility Customer SatisfactionLeave a Comment

Denial, the old saying goes, ain’t just a river in Egypt. That rattling sound you hear when you drive your car? Ignore it — maybe it will go away. That pain in your back? Probably caused by sleeping in an awkward position last night. Feeling sluggish? Grab another cup of coffee. Sometimes it’s nothing, but other times we may be … Read More

Telling Your Story: Smart Grid Communications

Egan EnergyBlog, Customer, Effective, Messaging, Programs & Services, Utility Communications, Utility MarketingLeave a Comment

Every now and then I get a call from a client, a colleague or a prospective client about how to effectively communicate with the general public about a highly technical topic — nuclear power, price increases, advanced digital meters, strengthening the grid, and so on. Think About Your Audience Regardless of the specific topic, my recommendation is generally the same. … Read More

You Wanna Be Right, or Understood, in Your Utility Customer Communications?

Egan EnergyBlog, CustomerLeave a Comment

I spoke with a utility communicator not too long ago who was having difficulty convincing the highly technical leader of her utility to use easily understood language in communicating with the public. The leader was a stickler for precision and comprehensiveness, which led to long and complicated communications with customers, which the communicator suspected were almost never read. She probably … Read More

“Holy Kilowatts, Batman!” So What’s Your Story?

Egan EnergyCustomer, Utility CommunicationsLeave a Comment

Have you ever left an energy conference and run into a life-sized Pikachu Pokémon©? How about coming face to face with a Star Wars stormtrooper©? I recently encountered those and many other colorful characters, most of whom I didn’t recognize, when the energy conference I was attending, HydroVision International, was ending while Denver Comic Con was starting. Both events shared … Read More

Another Copper Bullet in the War Against Utility Scams

Egan EnergyCustomer, EffectiveLeave a Comment

Did you participate in Facebook’s recent “10 concerts” meme? You know the one — Facebook users were invited to list nine concerts they actually attended and one they didn’t. Their FB friends were asked to guess which one was not, in fact, attended by that person. The meme swept through FB-land like wildfire, drawing millions of responses in a matter … Read More

Utilities, Do More Face-to-Face Public Engagement!

Egan EnergyCommunities, Customer, Effective, Face-to-Face, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility Stakeholders1 Comment

I’m not much for poetry — I know, my loss — but one poem that did make a lasting impression on me was Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken,” which I learned in Mr. Gagliardi’s 7th grade English class at St. Theresa’s School in Briarcliff Manor, New York. The poem ended this way: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and … Read More

Utility Communications: Don’t Play Word Games on Price Increases

Egan EnergyCreative, Customer, Customers, Messaging, Utility Communications, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

“You say ‘po-TA-to,’ I say ‘po TAH-to.’ You say ‘to-MA-to,’ I say ‘to-MAH-to.’ ” That’s the kind of word game more and more utilities are playing these days. It’s a game I expect most will lose, mainly because utilities and their customers are not using a common vocabulary. Changes in prices — mainly increases but sometimes decreases — will be … Read More