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The Time is Now: Making the Shift to Mobile

It’s time for a mobile mind shift.

To give credit where it’s due, I borrowed that phrase from Julie Ask, vice president and principal analyst serving ebusiness and channel strategy professionals at Forrester, who used it in a Tendril-sponsored GTM webinar.

This mobile mind shift applies across the board right now, for any industry that provides customer service, including energy. It’s a shift from living in an Age of Information (in which organizations had the power to set prices and otherwise dictate what went to customers) to living in an Age of the Customer (in which customers have the power to make choices, to download the apps that give them the services they want, and to otherwise find providers that meet their expectations). So much of the Age of the Customer revolves around mobile apps.

As Julie said, organizations that aren’t “completely obsessed” with their customers and aren’t working constantly to get to know these customers better, will struggle to compete in today’s market. Mobile must live at the heart of this obsession with customers, as it’s the best way to give customers the things they want in communications: immediacy (a way to pay a bill right away, for example); simplicity (curated content that feeds customers’ interests and proactive notifications that are relevant to their homes); and context (content that’s time sensitive, relevant to location and consistent with customers’ unique past behavior).

Duke Energy has realized the need for a consumer-centric mobile platform, as Kevin Bright, Duke’s managing director of customer efficiency programs, noted in the webinar. Kevin said that Duke is in the process of designing a mobile platform that meets customers where they are, provides what they need, such as easy bill pay and immediate or proactive outage notifications, and builds on meeting those transactional needs to add further opportunities for engagement and cross sell of products and services. It’s a model other energy providers would be wise to strive to emulate.

Along those lines, Dave Grant, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Tendril, spoke in the webinar about our belief that the best approach to mobile is a “mobile first” mindset. For us, the mobile mind shift means a shift from adding mobile as one of many forms of communication an energy provider may use, to starting with mobile and going from there. The small screen is unique: it’s portable, tappable, limited in space, and lives in your customers’ pockets. Its design cannot be an afterthought. We’re not saying we need to reinvent the wheel—direct mail, email, and phone campaigns already in place may be working—but we are saying that mobile shouldn’t be an offshoot of what already is.  

We at Tendril see the ideal mobile app for energy providers as one that unifies all existing functions and programs, from bill pay to demand management to energy efficiency and more. It’s an application of applications that on the back end is a complex gathering of lots of parts and on the front, consumer-facing end is a streamlined interface that makes customers’ energy management quick, convenient, and simple. The app is highly personalized, delivering content that appeals to customers’ individual priorities, whether those are first and foremost to save money, to optimize comfort at home, or to protect the environment.

To learn more about shifting to a mobile-first mindset, download our white paper, How To Spur Digital Engagement In The Energy Industry. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out!





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