How Utilities Earn the Benefit of the Doubt

Egan EnergyBlog, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility Leadership, Utility Media Relations1 Comment

The horn sounded and another terrific North Carolina-Duke basketball game was in the books. I’m a Tar Heel fan, so I was happy North Carolina won. The team’s margin of victory came from the free-throw line, where it had 20 more attempts than Duke. Carolina players spent so much time at the free-throw line you would think they called ahead … Read More

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

Egan EnergyBlog, Customer, Effective, Messaging, Utility Advertising, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility Marketing1 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

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

Utility Customers Satisfied, BPU Says

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The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) in Wyandotte County Kansas recently presented the results of a residential, commercial and industrial customer service survey they conducted in April of 2012. Results showed customers were satisfied with the utility’s basic electric and water services. Customer service scores were a bit lower; however, customers expressed appreciation for BPU’s responsiveness and their interface with … Read More

J.D. Power Names Top Utility for Customer Satisfaction

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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

Energy PR — Forget Facts, Show Value!

Egan EnergyBlog, Creative, Customer, Customers, Effective, Efficiency & Conservation, Messaging, Programs & Services, Utility Communications, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility Marketing, Utility Media Relations, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

Whatever utility communicators are selling these days, it doesn’t look like customers are buying. And we expect the problem will get worse before it gets better. A lot of utility communication plans are tied to rate cases, and utilities are filing a lot of rate cases these days. It looks like 100 or more rate cases will be filed across … Read More

Can Utilities Find a Path to Peace?

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Most utilities have always had a small percentage of disaffected customers. They write letters to the editor grousing about the duration of a recent outage. They criticize a utility’s tree-trimming practices. They oppose a proposed price increase. But yesterday’s cranky customer is becoming more of an activist today, participating in protests that are aimed at more fundamental utility business practices: … Read More