An Energy Provider’s Strategy for Millennials

In 2016, Millennials surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest living generation in the US, according to Pew Research.  Millennials make up an average of 20% of MeterGenius’ retail energy clients’ customer base, and they consistently have the worst retention rates.  So what is your strategy for acquiring and keeping this large and growing age group?

Accenture’s 2016 paper, “The New Energy Consumer: Thriving in the Energy Ecosystem”, uncovered some of the interests that drive Millennials’ energy choices.  Accenture found that Millennials want the following:

  • Information and services that are accessible on their own terms
  • A personalized experience that provides energy usage feedback and customized suggestions for new products and services
  • More ways to share with and collaborate with their peers in regards to their energy consumption

The most striking finding was that 79% of Millennials would switch energy providers if they found the experience less than satisfactory.  These customers are less price sensitive and more experience sensitive than any other age group – and this is the opposite of how most energy providers think. So what should you do?

Offer a mobile app

According to Bluecore, 85% of Millennials have a smart phone, and a Comscore study said Millennials spend 94 hours a month using smart phone apps.  It’s overwhelmingly clear that the best way to engage with your Millennial customers is to do so with a well-designed mobile app that offers valuable, personalized information and a reason to use the app on a regular basis – not just once a month.

Utilize email, because it’s still very effective

Bluecore also found that 62% of Millenials say email is their preferred method of contact by brands.  In the emails we send on behalf of our clients, Millenials have the highest click through rates of all of the age groups.  Like the rest of the customer experience, your emails should be personalized with targeted messaging and valuable information – not newsletter-style generic content that may only be relevant to a portion of your audience.

Understand the value of social media

Few energy providers have had success with social media, because they’re doing it wrong.  Bluecore found that 33% of Millennials never look at brand content on social media, so why use this as a channel to push messages to your customers?  81% of Millennials use social media for customer service. Tools such as Facebook and Twitter can be incredibly valuable if used as a customer service channel rather than a channel for customer acquisition or even brand engagement.

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