A Retail Energy company launched a new prepaid energy product into the market that provides new energy options for customers, especially for the credit challenged segment.
Upon launch with the Retail Energy’s existing marketing & sales channels, it became evident that these channels were not the optimal avenue for attracting and acquiring the credit challenged customer segment.
The traditional marketing channels such as direct mail and online were not effectively engaging the customers, which was resulting in many questions that came into the call center.
The call center agents were spending more time educating than selling and while this is expected for a new product launch, the transition was slow.
As well, the energy company was utilizing door-to-door agents. The issue here is that the sales agents were not able to effectively propose the prepaid energy product.
As we dug deeper to understand why the performance was optimal, we began to better understand the credit challenged customer segment.
We needed to find a new way to acquire these customers.
We first learned as much as we can about the credit challenged customer buying behaviors.
What we learned is that this segment primarily makes purchase decisions face-to-face with people that they trust or with people that they were referred to by someone they trust.
We also learned that the marketing messaging that was in place does not resonate with them at all and just created confusion.
Once we had a more complete picture of the customer, we took a step back and looked at where these customers paid their bills, especially their electricity bills.
We gathered that these customers spent a lot of time at check cashing stores and ethnic grocery stores for bill payments; of which, the energy company’s newly acquired prepaid energy customers were topping up their account at these establishments.
We decided that a traditional retail channel, brick and mortar, was the going to be the way to attract and acquire new customers.
We first established strategic partnerships with a few key retailers (check cashing and grocery).
From there, we created in-store marketing material that spoke in the same tone as traditional prepaid products such as prepaid debit cards.
We has also trained and created a sales program for the employees of the retailers so that they would speak to the customers to have them sign up onto the prepaid energy program.
The Retail Energy company experienced a new spike in prepaid energy sales.
- Customers were able to have a conversation with someone they trusted
- Marketing material was communicating a consistent message and aligned with what they were being told by the retail employee
- This channel grew into a $25M from $0 revenue stream in a couple of years
- The customers that were acquired by this channel had a 10% less churn than the ones acquired by the other channels
- This was the only retail channel program in the industry that separated the energy company from its competition