AESP Spring Conference: What We Learned

AESP Conference Takeaways

Earlier this month, WECC staff traveled to Salt Lake City for the Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP)’s Spring Conference and Expo. This year’s conference focused on customer engagement strategies, including journey mapping, social media, and brand advocates. Read on for our three biggest takeaways!

1. Understand your customer's journey. A customer journey map is a simple concept: a diagram that illustrates the steps that your customer takes prior to engagement. When do they first become aware of your program or product? At what point does their awareness evolve into interest? The answers to these questions can be instrumental in developing touchpoints and addressing potential customers’ questions and hesitations early in the process.

While a journey map should be customized to meet your program’s specific needs, the first step is often awareness. That’s why branding is such a critical element of program implementation. According to the J.D. Power 2016 Utility Products and Services Study, overall satisfaction is 242 points higher among utility customers who are “very familiar” with their utility’s energy efficiency programs. Effective branding can make a world of difference when it comes to meeting your participation and energy savings goals.   

Customer Journey

2. On social media, quality matters over quantity. With a large number of social media platforms achieving newfound popularity, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Remember that you don’t need to be everywhere. Instead, choose the platforms that make the most sense for your program or brand. Then, develop a plan that you can execute well and consistently. Frequent and engaging content on one or two strategically-chosen channels is far preferable to creating many profiles that will use up time and resources without generating value. 

When establishing a presence on social media, keep in mind that customers expect fast responses. According to The Social Habit, 42 percent of customers who complain on social media expect responses within one hour. Ensure that your organization has the capacity to ensure timely responses.

Social Media Blog

3. Put people first. Always remember that you are marketing to individuals! Be mindful of your customers’ preferences, and market in a way that resonates with them. This may vary widely—some audiences may prefer print advertising, others email, and others social media. Understanding these preferences and meeting your customer where they are adds a human touch to marketing strategies. Communicate with—not to—you customer.

We hope you learned something that you can take back to your workplace. Feel free to share these tips on your social media channels!