Questline Assists Energy Utilities with Striking the Right Chord with Customers
COVID-19 posed many new challenges for a wide variety of industries, including energy utility companies. Striking the right balance of understanding and promoting their service when communicating with customers took some nuance.
Content marketing company Questline helps utility companies like AEP Ohio, AMP, Ohio Electric Cooperatives, and even the City of Columbus, with their messaging. In the early stages of the pandemic, the company had its hands full with utility companies who were worried and confused on how to engage with customers.
“A lot of our existing clients were saying, ‘What is what’s going on? What’s the industry doing? Can you tell us?’” said Dave Reim, CEO and president of Questline. “We felt like it was sort of a responsibility and not just an opportunity…to carry them and to help them through a really tough time, not only for them but for their customers.”
From the beginning, the messages that were most popular with energy utility customers acknowledged that times were tough.
“The initial messages that worked best for utilities were just reassurances,” said Brian Lindamood, associate vice president of creative and content strategy. “Most utilities told customers that they were not going to turn the power off if the customer lost their job and were not able to pay their bills. That was really reassuring in the early days when the economic impact wasn’t clear.”
Now months into the pandemic and understanding the wide economic impact, the messaging has moved toward more resources for customers, including financial assistance and payment options, ways to save energy and costs for those working from home, and more.
In addition to individual customers, business owners were also part of the conversation in terms of the unique challenges the pandemic posed. Much of the same digital messaging and content was provided to customers who may have had to shut down their business.
“Especially for restaurants and bars, it’s like, how to turn off your equipment, turn off your freezers or refrigerators if your restaurant’s not going to be open for a couple months to make sure that you save energy and money that way,” said Lindamood. “Now as businesses are opening back up, we’re seeing messages around how to safely reopen.”
Questline has made much of its coronavirus-related content free to its customers. Reim says energy utility companies have been seeing a pinch as well. This is where a business like Questline can come in, and help utility companies better serve their customers while also having the resources to continue to do what they do.
“There’s a degree of nuance of trying to reintroduce information to the customers,” said Reim. “They are trying to get back to some degree of normal, and they’re trying to do it by not being tone-deaf to the situation.”
Questline has also been able to provide a resource for energy utility companies to assist one another. Via virtual webinars, the company has brought on panelists from these companies to give feedback, direction and insight into what utilities should be doing and saying in terms of content and resources related to the pandemic.
“We’re creating huge amounts of new content because we’re hearing almost firsthand from individual communicators, engagers with their customers, what they’re having problems with, what they could use assistance with,” said Reim. “We want to put it out there and make it available so that you then have it for your own customers.”
Even in socially distant times, Questline’s role in the Dublin technology community has allowed the company to connect and partner with businesses as well as have access to different resources — from having the technology and the abilities that Dublin provides to be able to operate in a remote work environment, to significant assistance from the Dublin Chamber of Commerce.
“The business community is really a community here,” said Reim. “You’re able to take advantage of the resources, the expertise, the broad set of abilities here in the city.”
For more information on Questline, visit www.questline.com.
Our technology series is presented by our partners in the City of Dublin.
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