Hydro One delivers electricity safely, reliably and responsibly to homes and businesses across the province of Ontario. It owns and operates Ontario's 30,000 circuit km high-voltage transmission lines that delivers electricity to large industrial customers and municipal utilities, as well as a 123,000 circuit km primary distribution network that serves about 1.3 million end-use customers and smaller municipal utilities in the province. Hydro One is publically listed Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: H).
At a time of rising electricity rates and a changing electricity market, Hydro One wanted to strengthen its connection with customers and promote energy conservation. At the time the utility found itself facing declining customer satisfaction and flattening enrollment in many of its energy conservation programs. Hoping to reverse those trends, Hydro One sought a way to better understand its varied audiences and create more effective programs and communications across the organization.
Hydro One wanted to better understand how customers’ consumption habits as well as how they perceived the utility. The utility began this journey by conducting a satisfaction survey focusing on attitudes towards rates, their perception of Hydro One and customer service. Next, with the help of our Client Advocates they classified those results into one of four distinct custom groups, based on a wide range of data including: demographics, social values and lifestyle, defined by our PRIZM segmentation system.
To demonstrate the value of segmentation to the organization, we helped devise a targeted direct mail campaign to promote energy conservation. Using our segments, the company was able to identify which marketing strategies would resonate with each group, based on their respective satisfaction levels on the price of electricity and their perception of the company. To test this work Hydro One sent customized bill inserts to a small test group of customers to encourage them to sign up for a conservation program. By differentiating their messages for each group, the utility was able forge stronger relationships with their customers and boost participation in its energy conservation programs.
Through its targeted marketing efforts, Hydro One was able to appeal to their customers’ needs and raise awareness and enrollment in its Peaksaver conservation program. By changing their marketing messaging and developing customized bill inserts and direct mail pieces that would resonate with a particular segment, Hydro One saw 390 percent lift in participants over previous bill insert campaigns. Today, as Hydro One incorporates segmentation across the organization, the utility is transforming itself into a more customer-centric organization.
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