Utility Company Marketing 101: Increase Online Customer Enrollments
It seems like everywhere you turn these days, your bank, credit card company, or utility is encouraging online enrollment. It's a win-win solution for the consumer and for the business owners. The utility customer saves a stamp and a ride to the post office while gaining the ability to track usage or update payment information online. The utility company saves on the cost of printing bills and gains the ability to create email campaigns and target existing customers for new services.
There are a number of factors to consider for optimal online enrollment. Here are some useful tips and examples from our work building web solutions for our clients:
- Place a clear call to action on your homepage for online enrollment options. Your online visitors will tend to abandon online enrollment activity the deeper they have to click into your website.
- Keep enrollment forms simple and structure your website as a guide through the enrollment process. This form from Infinite Energy highlights the overall enrollment process at the top of the page while beginning the process by asking for the visitor's zip code - a key factor in determining rate and service information. Compare Infinite Energy's form with Reach Energy's more complex single page form. Why not guide users step by step and limit the amount of information that is requested on each page? Your online helpfulness will translate into real life helpfulness in your customers' minds.
- Be transparent in what's included or not included in various plan options. The last thing you want is an irked customer calling you about a charge they are not familiar with on their latest utility bill. Also related to transparency - make it easy for customers to compare providers and see where you rank relative to other providers. Offer example solutions or compelling reasons to switch providers.
- Be customer-centric as opposed to business-centric. Customers are more concerned about paying their bill or if storms are causing power outages in their service area more than your utility company's history. Provide the information your customers want rather than the information you want your customers to see.
- Avoid downloads for "just-in-time" information like rates for specific cities and zip codes. Don't make an online visitor go through the laborious and sometimes confusing process of downloading a .pdf file just to see one rate specific to their zip-code.
- Consider social sign-in as an option for enrollment - users are more apt to use existing Facebook or Twitter data to set up an online utility account rather than creating a user ID and password specific to just one site.
Need more ideas on ways to bring your utility customers online? Take a look at our web solutions portfolio or give us a call - 877.LYNTONW