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

In the Court of Public Opinion, Utilities Lose by Playing Defense

Egan EnergyCustomer, Messaging, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility Leadership, ValueLeave a Comment

  Different people celebrate the 4th of July in different ways. Beyond the fireworks, baseball and ritual grilling of meat, I like to celebrate our nation’s independence by binge-watching my favorite TV show, “Law & Order,” the long-running police procedural drama.   The original show ran for 20 years and had several spin-offs. Regrettably, the original and most of its … Read More

Flavor of the Decade: What Energy Utilities Can Learn From Verizon

Egan EnergyBlog, Customer, Effective, Messaging, Utility Advertising, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility MarketingLeave a Comment

Do you remember this guy? Sure you do. For nine years starting in 2001, Paul Marcarelli was the face and the voice Verizon used to break through a crowded telecommunications market and build its brand. Verizon built its brand around a model dressed as a slightly nerdy technician who always asked, “Can you hear me now?” In other words, Verizon … Read More

Engaged Energy Consumers are More Satisfied with their Electric Utility

Egan EnergyCustomer, Customers, Effective, Energy News, Utility Communications, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

According to the results of Marketing Strategies International’s latest E2 (Energy + Environment) Study, consumers who are more knowledgeable and involved with energy utility and actively manage their own energy usage have a better relationship with their utility company than consumers who do not. In short, engagement matters. It is a belief the industry executives and managers have held for … Read More

Drowning in Facts? Try Managing Perceptions!

Egan EnergyCustomer, Customers, Energy News, Messaging, Non-Verbal, Utility Communications, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility Marketing, Utility Media Relations, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

“Facts are simple and facts are straight,” the Talking Heads once sang. For those reasons, facts are often a utility communicator’s best friend. Inside a utility, facts are never in short supply, and communicators often face the challenge of getting factual or going home. But that same fact-based approach can fall flat when communicating with customers and other external stakeholders. … Read More

“Medium Rare or Well Done?”

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Cost-Effective, Creative, Customer, Customers, Effective, Low-Cost, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

Creativity Cuts Cost of Connecting with Utility Customers Utility communicators are under increased pressure to do more with less. That puts a premium on creativity. We’re all searching for the same Holy Grail: low-cost, high-impact ways to connect with customers. Two public-power utilities recently shared some very creative ideas to connect with customers. Perhaps their ideas can help you connect … Read More

Creating Customer-Friendly Utility Messages

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Creative, Customer, Customers, Effective, Messaging, Utility Advertising, Utility Communications, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility Marketing, Utility Stakeholders, ValueLeave a Comment

Here’s an example of clear, customer-friendly messaging: it costs you $1.36 per year to charge your iPad. Note the simplicity and the customer-centeredness of the message. It doesn’t offer a range, and it doesn’t include a lot of qualifications about utility rates, iPad usage, or number of users in a household. It may—or may not—be accurate to the fourth decimal … Read More

J.D. Power Names Top Utility for Customer Satisfaction

Egan EnergyCommunities, Customer, Energy News, Utility Communications, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

PPL Electric Utilities Corp. is back on top, after last achieving the top utility honor in 2007. It has received past honors for both business and residential customer satisfaction. Over 100,000 customers were interviewed online, and PPL was ranked the highest in the eastern United States. PPL also operates Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas and Electric in the Midwest Region, … Read More

Talking About Energy (but Not About Prices)

Egan EnergyCustomer, Customers, Efficiency & Conservation, Energy News, Messaging, Non-Verbal, Programs & Services, Utility Advertising, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility Marketing, Utility Stakeholders, ValueLeave a Comment

It’s not easy to talk about electric or gas service. Unlike consumer goods such as cars, homes or food, consumers can’t interact directly with electric or gas service: They can’t store it, they can’t give some of it to their friends, and it doesn’t really come in different colors. That’s why many utilities end up discussing their service in terms … Read More