In today’s fast-paced world, there is a high demand for up-to-the-minute data. We’re accustomed to retrieving live data on our screens at home and in the workplace, on our wristwatches and through the smart devices in our homes. For marketers, this allows us to leverage the advantages of real-time data and emphasize the increased control it offers, ultimately leading to improved efficiency and productivity.
As the demand for data and intelligent solutions continues to grow, smart meters provide utilities a pivotal opportunity to shift from a low-engagement, transaction-focused customer relationship to a consultative and highly valued one. This change in perspective enables customers to view utilities in a fresh way, equipping them with tools to make more cost-effective and sustainable energy decisions.
Here are the five primary customer benefits of smart meters:
- Near Real-Time Energy Usage Information. This data is accessible through online portals or mobile apps, allowing customers to track their energy use, see how appliances impact their bills and make informed decisions about reducing consumption during peak periods.
- Increased Awareness and Energy Efficiency. With near real-time data, customers become more aware of their energy habits. This allows customers to identify wasteful practices, make consumption adjustments and save on their energy bills.
- Time-of-Use Pricing Benefits. Many utilities offer time-of-use (TOU) pricing plans in conjunction with smart meters. These plans encourage customers to use energy during off-peak hours when rates are low, helping them save money by shifting energy-intensive activities to more cost-effective times.
- Faster Problem Detection and Resolution. Smart meters enable utilities to remotely monitor the grid and detect outages or other issues more quickly. This helps reduce downtime, improve customer communications/outage notifications and ensures faster response times when problems occur, ultimately leading to improved service reliability.
- Reduced Estimated Billing. With traditional meters, utilities often rely on estimated bills, which can lead to inaccuracies. Smart meters provide precise, actual usage data, eliminating the need for estimated bills. This ensures that customers are billed accurately, avoiding the risk of surprise, unexpected high bills or overpayments.
Strengthening Customer Relationships Improves Business Performance
Our mission at Mower is to ignite Fierce Friendships between brands and their customers by crafting ideas that foster genuine and enduring relationships. We achieve this by placing human needs at the heart of our approach, which enables us to cultivate Affection, Relevance and Trust. To achieve brand success, customers must genuinely like the brand, sense its meaningful presence in their lives and trust in its capability to deliver.
In sectors marked by minimal customer interest, such as electric and gas utilities, this strategy becomes especially vital. Our work consistently reveals that emotional bonds are the driving force between brand value and business performance. Fully connected customers are 52% more valuable than those who are just highly satisfied.*
In the realm of smart meters, our efforts are enabling utilities to foster customer connections, transforming smart meters into valuable assets that enhance how customers perceive and regard their utility.
With Avangrid, serving more than 1.4 million customers in New York including NYSEG and RG&E, Mower’s work was underpinned by the insight that individuals seek assurance and control in an increasingly unpredictable world. Integrated marketing is geared toward engaging a diverse audience, including residential and commercial customers, local and state elected officials, community representatives and media stakeholders.
At Mower, we see smart meters as the cornerstone and catalyst for building robust relationships and nurturing a strong bond between utilities and their customers.
*Harvard Business Review