An Interview with Raquel Berg of Connexus Energy
It is well known that most utility customer engagement mobile apps come up short on delivering a state-of-the-art user experience. Utilities are consistently ranked low by customers on their mobile self service offerings.
This is because most vendors of utility engagement software are not giving utilities what their end customers genuinely want: A native mobile app.
Customer information systems and utility engagement portals typically just render their desktop sites with a mobile “wrapper.” It does not deliver the user experience mobile users expect.
At MyMeter, we listened to our customers and built native mobile apps from scratch.
To explore the value this unlocks for utilities and their customers, we sat down with Raquel Berg Marketing Manager, at Connexus Energy to learn how they are using MyMeter to address
the needs of an increasingly mobile-first customer base.
Accelerated Innovations: Hi Raquel, thanks for your time today. To get us started could you tell us a little about Connexus Energy and how you started a journey to deliver a better mobile experience to your member consumers?
Raquel Berg: Connexus Energy is Minnesota’s largest electric cooperative, based in Ramsey, Minnesota. We serve more than 140,000 members in the North Metro area of the Twin Cities.
We have used the MyMeter MyAccount platform since 2016. In the past few years, members have increasingly shown interest in a mobile app offering and, in fact, it has even come up in our JD Power member satisfaction survey We reached out to MyMeter staff and started the discussion on bring forward a Connexus Branded app, supported by MyMeter, to ensure the app experience met all of the same needs as the digital online experience. . We knew that we would have one shot at doing an app well. So we wanted to be sure it was designed and functioned interchangeably, despite the digital platform. The experience needed to be the same no matter where members chose to interact with us. We learned early on from other utilities that if the experience fell short, , members would not use it, or use it more than once.
AI: And when you say, “excellent mobile experience,” can you expand on that?
RB: Yes. We wanted members to be able to do everything on the app they can do on the desktop. From bill pay, to conservation programs, to usage analysis to reporting an outage to receiving alerts, etc. We also wanted to make sure we could deliver the same experience to all users on both Apple and Android.
AI: How did you approach outreach to your customers in preparation for rolling out the app?
RB: In early 2021 we put together a survey asking members about their needs and expectations for a Connexus mobile app. We showed them design templates and asked for feedback. We were amazed at the response. In less than 72 hours, we had thousands of surveys completed. Needless to say, we had a very solid start on putting together an App that members wanted. .
AI: It sounds like the survey response indicated there was “pent up” customer demand for a good mobile app?
RB: Absolutely. It was clear that this is very important to many people.
AI: Can you share some of the highlights of your survey results?
RB: 95% of respondents said they would use a mobile app. 54% anticipated using it monthly, 34% weekly. Nearly 2,000 respondents indicated interest in beta testing an app.
AI: And how did you approach rollout?
RB: We started with employees who are also members. In addition, we put the app live in the app stores and let some members find it organically. As it happened, we had a small outage event shortly after the app went live and noted that many members downloaded the app and began to use it. That unexpected event gave us good insight as to what members are expecting. After a few weeks of stabilization, we started slowly sharing the app message on our social platforms, in member bills, online, etc.
AI: How has the feedback been?
RB: So far, excellent. We do have a survey running with our early adopters as we speak. Initial results have been very positive. Of course, as with all new tools, there are some tweaks to
consider. We will be working with the MyMeter staff on sharing those results and putting a plan together for continued enhancements.
AI: And what is Connexus expecting to see as key benefits?
RB: Anytime our member can quickly and easily interact with us and get what they need without needing to make a call it saves them time and it saves us staff resources. We are hopeful this will increase customer satisfaction while reducing costs.
The MyMeter mobile app is available for all utilities who use MyMeter, simply download the app and choose your utility. However, for utilities who desire it, MyMeter offers a utility branded version complete with utility logo and color branding.
Learn more about MyMeter Mobile Here
Schedule a MyMeter demo today and experience state-of-the-art mobile utility engagement!