Conversation on eCommerce in a Post-COVID World
Take a look at the eCommerce shift as the new normal begins.
While this segment heats up with new devices hitting the market, customer demands, and an increasing shift for digital everything, Utilities have multiple opportunities to “own” the Smarthome. Utilities benefit from the investment of trust and credibility from their customers, which invites their involvement in education and information about Smarthome choices. Utilities literally power the services every home requires, so they have the enviable opportunity to participate in customer decisions about how to improve the safety, security, comfort, and intelligence of those homes. Read on to learn more about some of the best practices for Utilities to own the Smarthome journey for their customers.
From the perspective of a trusted advisor, Utilities can offer customers special insights, awareness, and even recommendations for the Smarthome. Offering high-quality hyper-focused digital content, Utilities can guide and influence customer awareness, drive traffic to eCommerce marketplaces, and in turn, increase customer touch points that inspire purchases. And, Utilities are in a unique position to leverage data and customer information to offer personalized insights and offers to customers that optimize their Smarthome. Customers actually appreciate when the brands they trust personalize outreach and deliver individualized solutions, so Utilities can embrace customer energy data, for example, to make content more meaningful and relevant for their customers. Content tailored to customer segments or individual attributes will be better received, opened and engaged more frequently, and is more likely to promote a visit to the utility marketplace to learn more. That's exactly the type of engagement that expands customer trust and amplifies the credibility of your utility.
By delivering eCommerce Marketplaces, Utilities can extend the value of their advocacy by engaging customers and giving them a seamless customer experience to learn about solutions for their Smarthome. The CX enables customers to take immediate action to enroll, purchase and install solutions that deliver on their efficiency, management, and automation goals. Offering a range of content including blogs, product comparisons, calculators and other widgets, videos and infographics ensures that every customer finds a type of content to their liking that is informative, easily digestible, and up-to-date. And, including valuable insights along with useful links to solutions on your eCommerce marketplace makes it more likely for customers to visit, return to your site, and ultimately buy new products and services that meet their needs.
By attending to just a bit of data and watching how customers interact with your digital content, Utilities can easily segment customers according to those interests. Then, it’s just a matter of adjusting the content to nurture more customer interaction. At ibex, we leverage personas to inform our content campaigns, and key triggers to highlight offers and transactional outreach.
Persona #1: Aging in Place
Personas help us understand customer interest and inform the type of content, tone, and topics that will likely engage them. For example, "Aging in Place" customers tend to be older people living alone or in couples without children. They tend to own their homes and look for ways to remain in them, and they may need some extra help related to upkeep and protection in their residence. And, while every generation knows how to shop online, "Aging in Place" customers still like the ability to read full length articles online, and they occasionally like to talk to a real person in case they have questions. A utility's "Aging in Place" customers appreciate blogs and articles that compare different solutions, and like the Smarthome features that help with monitoring and safety in their home.
Persona #2: Tech-Savvy
"Tech Savvy" customers tend to consume media at high velocity. These customers trend younger, male, and live in more urban settings. They love the latest technology and want to get all of the details quickly and easily. Video content and infographics that deliver just the facts make an immediate impression, and these customers click links to learn more. Don’t worry about phone numbers for these shoppers. While they usually buy from their smart phone, they don’t bother talking to anyone. Have chat and great images on your marketplace to convert their attention to a purchase. "Tech Savvy" customers want to get the latest technology, so content that highlights cutting-edge features and benefits in a quickly consumed way best fits their needs and interests.
However, research still shows that while customer personas can inform the best kinds of outreach and the topics that will most interest customers, purchase decisions often come down to triggers. A trigger is an event that drives purchase intent for a product or service. For example, some seasonal schedules trigger interest and purchase intent in HVAC tune-ups or filter subscription programs. News about crime rates often trigger interest in buying security services or video doorbells regardless of the customer’s persona.
Content best shapes awareness and interest based on customer personas, and can keep outreach campaigns highly relevant and personalized. Triggers more commonly will influence the attractiveness of a key offer, so consider timely triggers associated with email and social offers, special landing pages, and discounts or promotion code campaigns to stimulate more transactions on your marketplace.
By understanding essential customer personas and engagement strategies, Utilities can curate and deliver value-added content and services to reach every customer and own the Smarthome. Ready to drive better results for your digital Utility CX? Schedule a time to come meet us at CS Week here, or sign up for a demo now.
Take a look at the eCommerce shift as the new normal begins.
Now more than ever, digital transformation is the way forward for Utilities.
Join Mark Wilkinson & Jay Gore for Part Two of the ibex Utilities Digital Transformation Series.