Customer Experience Drives Program Results
For us at Thurston Energy it has always been about the customer experience. We are trying to make a positive impact in people’s lives by helping them use less energy, save money, be more healthy and comfortable, and make great investments in their homes and buildings. Today we’re releasing the results of our 2010-2011 Program Analysis and it’s great to see how much our customers have accomplished – 45% of homeowners went on to make improvements after their energy evaluations, and folks are now expected to save an average of $300 per year on energy costs as a result. And they’ve told us that the experiences they had with Thurston Energy led them to that success, which is humbling and gratifying for me and the entire Thurston Energy team.
The customer experience begins with how you learn about the opportunity of participating in our program. We try to get the word out through a whole host of marketing activities, from web, email, Facebook and Twitter to radio spots, door hangers, and personal conversations. We try to answer all the questions and provide all the reasons to get an energy evaluation and reduce energy usage, but ultimately, customers need to decide on the value for themselves, and take the initiative to sign up for the service.
The HomePLUS Energy Evaluation is itself a unique experience. When you walk around with the technician with the blower door running and feel the air rushing in through the cracks, you literally experience air infiltration. When you look at the screen of the thermal imager and see the blue color of cold spots, you experience the lack of insulation. When you ask the technician questions and get answers based on their years of experience combined with what they just learned in the house, you experience a knowledge of your home that you could not get any other way. When Thurston Energy staff follows up with a phone call and email a few days later to assist in the selection of follow-on measures and contractors, you experience the genuine desire of our non-profit organization in seeing you make investments that will use less energy, save money, make your home more comfortable and improve your indoor air quality.
In short, we believe that customers follow through because they experience the reasons why they are uncomfortable and unsatisfied with their home’s energy performance, they are empowered with solutions and how to achieve them, and we walk with them along the Pathway to Savings.
Thurston Energy is at an interesting time, as are all of the Recovery Act funded programs across the state and region. We’ve come a long way, and can now measure and describe the results of our efforts. Even as we’re excited to share these results, we’re facing the fact that our federal funding will essentially run out in February of 2012, and we’re working on lining up new funds from a variety of sources and designing a new line up of services to sell to customers. More than anything, we are seeking to improve customer experiences. So I ask for your support as we re-make ourselves for 2012 and beyond. This experience has only just begun, and we’re building the future today.