How utilities companies can increase online sales conversion in innovative ways
Iberdrola is one of the world’s largest utilities concerning market capitalization, serving more than 31 million customers on four continents. Some of its key subsidiaries are Scottish Power (Scotland), Iberdrola USA (United States) and Elektro (Brazil). Besides offering gas and electricity to households and businesses, Iberdrola is also a global leader in wind energy.
In many countries, the utilities market underwent a thorough liberalization process and customers are now free to choose their service provider. However, this does not mean that consumers became energy experts overnight. Utilities have a limited window of opportunity to engage with their online customers and establish their new business models because rivals from other industries are rapidly building their capability and credibility with customers.
The solution is going to involve “retailization” — a concept described in Flipping the Switch, a 2017 report by PwC on prospects for the utility industry in the United States. Retailization is the development of more direct consumer-to-utility relationships, along the lines of consumer banking or online shopping. Early steps might include real-time mobile and digital experiences, energy efficiency audits, home energy management solutions, and real-time billing and mobile payments.
Retailization is the development of more direct consumer-to-utility relationships, along the lines of consumer banking or online shopping.
Many companies seem to forget this fact and squeeze too much information in their websites that customers are unable to decipher. Or they provide their online customers with complicated self-service forms, full of questions they can’t answer without professional help. ‘Best-case scenario’, they will only feel frustrated; worst case, they’ll just go somewhere else where they receive a better customer experience.
Iberdrola had been struggling with similar issues:
The company was looking for a solution that would help them solve these problems and increase online conversion.
Whisbi’s Conversational Commerce Solution, combining live video, chat, voice and chatbot, turned out to be exactly what they have been looking for. The solution comes with an engaging, clearly visible Conversational Button, fully integrated into the company’s website, as shown in the image below:
Let’s take the example of a potential customer who has been building a new home or thinking about changing to a more advantageous utilities service. Whenever the customer is browsing on Iberdrola website, looking for specific offers or products, the Conversational Button kindly invites them to talk to a company representative for more information. The customer can then leave their phone number to ask for a free callback, thanks to Whisbi’s patented solution. The customer then receives a callback from the company, connecting them with the available company representative. In less than 5 seconds, a normal phone call is automatically synchronized with an interactive online experience in real time, i.e. video, co-browsing, chat and tracking.
Thanks to this unique conversational commerce solution, Iberdrola was able to:
This engaging and convenient real-time customer experience has been worlds apart from the tedious self-service investigation. Overall, the customers felt reassured by this face-to-face assistance in real-time and the brand was able to better monetized on their web visitors as a growing part of the customer journey is now happening online.
Thanks to Whisbi, the company managed to:
This example shows that consumers don’t have to become utilities experts themselves – but instead, an electric utility company, like Iberdrola, can offer them an innovative way to interact with one, much earlier in the research and/or decision stage than ever before.