Energy companies rank lowest for consumer satisfaction across all other industries by almost 13% according to DataMentors. With increasing competition from alternative energy resources, new entrants and disruptive technologies, utility giants desperately need to find a more consumer-friendly business model.
How can the energy industry improve consumer relationships?
Social media platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, are an under-‘utilized’ source of big data that can be mined to provide valuable intelligence into your consumers. Facebook alone boasts over one billion active users and stores 600 terabytes of data a day. On top of posts, hashtags, photos and likes, these data includes vital information about consumers’ connections, messages and browsing history.
Imagine the possibilities for improving your consumer satisfaction by tapping into that data source.
Here are three ways to use social media and get metrics on how your consumers actually feel.
1) Keyword analysis: Perform a keyword analysis on mentions about your company to identify distressed or angry customers.
At a low cost, you can conduct consumer research in real time with real people, and at abundant scale. By isolating areas that would benefit from immediate attention, energy companies can address and resolve the most pressing customer complaints very quickly. This kind of analysis can lead to increased audience reach and shorter response times, both quantifiable key performance indicators of customer success.
2) Sentiment analysis: Perform sentiment analysis to glean consumer insights about your brand’s popularity.
For example, environmental opposition to expansion projects pose a common threat and can undermine development plans and progress. Sentiment analysis enables you to filter for destructive words or associations that predict who, when and where potential reputational risks exist so that you can take preventive measures.
3) Accept payments: Many social media platforms, including Venmo, Paypal, Square and Facebook have built-in payment processing solutions.
People are already paying their friends and families for their portion of shared utilities over Venmo. In fact, the most popular type of transaction completed over Venmo is “rent”, followed by “gas” and “bill”. Respond to the demand for fast, simple and convenient payment by offering one of these social media options for direct payments.
Social media is a ubiquitous, easily accessible and cheap tool to help understand your consumers’ needs.
Harness the power of social media to connect with your consumers and stay current in this rapidly evolving market. If you implement one of these methods correctly, soon you’ll see a rise in your consumer satisfaction.