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5 Ways to Power Your Business Strategy Using Social Listening in the Utilities Industry

5 Ways to Power Your Business Strategy Using Social Listening in the Utilities Industry

Every day millions of people take to social media to interact with companies, brands and organisations online. Whether it’s to show their support, criticise or ask for more information, these millions of social interactions are creating huge volumes of social data ripe for use by enterprising companies.

Our new Talkwalker report focuses on using social listening – the process of tracking and analysing social data - in the utilities industry in 5 different ways including: measuring the performance of customer service channels, identifying potential churn and managing major crises. Although the focus is on the utilities sector, the insights about customer behaviour, crisis management and analysis of industry trends have applications across all industries. Here is a quick peek at what you’ll find in the full report:

1. Measuring performance of customer service channels

Delivering efficient customer service on social channels can be a difficult business. With enquiries coming at all times of day and customers wanting a quick response, keeping customers happy is a constant challenge. Social analytics however, can help you measure how you are performing vis a vis the competition and use those insights to improve your service. By using a combination of sentiment analysis, theme identification and automated reporting, utilities companies can make sure they understand how they are performing and then distribute key information to the relevant departments.

Sentiment big 6 customer service

Sentiment analysis towards customer service channels of the UK's Big 6 energy providers: Jan 20, 2015 - Feb 18, 2015

2. Reducing customer churn

With the rise of price comparison sites and the growing power of consumer forums, customer churn is more of an issue than ever before. The assumption may be that most people switch because of price but in reality the reasons are varied ranging from frustration at poor customer service to anger at a company’s political alignment. By monitoring and measuring the key discussions that relate to “switching supplier” or “providers” on channels such as Twitter and consumer forums, companies can discover the real reasons that customers are thinking of switching.

ecotricity twitter reaction

Twitter reaction to Ecotricity’s donation to the UK Labour Party

3. Understanding Key Industry Topics

As an industry providing an essential service to the entire population, utilities companies are often strongly affected by decisions made by regulators and comments made by politicians. As such, tracking regulator campaigns and developing an understanding of the topics that resonate with the public can be important when planning business strategy and drafting communications. By identifying and monitoring key influencers for particular campaigns, utilities companies can keep track of the online conversations that really matter.

top influencers table

Influencer table sorted by engagement for top hashtags related to #coldhomesweek and #fuelpoverty: Jan 20, 2015 - Feb 18, 2015

4. Managing a Crisis

A crisis can happen to any industry and at any time but for major utilities companies the scale and severity of a crisis can often be very large. By conducting thorough sentiment analysis, careful monitoring of the public reaction on social networks and by setting up a robust alerting system, utilities – and in fact all major companies – can make sure they stay ahead of the curve and prevent the situation from spiralling out of control.

duke energy sentiment over time

Sentiment volume over time for Duke Energy: Feb 3, 2015 – March 4, 2015

5. Tracking the Mood of the Market

For all listed companies, trying to predict or at least understand the mood of the markets towards your company and industry is an important part of ensuring your company’s financial stability. Social media analytics can help companies to understand the social conversations that are taking place about fluctuations in the stock market in real-time. By filtering the information effectively, deeper insights about intent to “buy” or “sell” shares can be quantified.

measuring conversation buy and sell energy stocks

Ratio of mentions linked to “buying” and “selling” stock for each utilities company: Feb 3, 2015 – March 4, 2015

This was just a brief look at some of the ways that utilities companies can use social listening to power their business strategy. But to get a deeper understanding of the power social media analytics and to learn how use it effectively,
download our full guide to using social listening in the utilities sector.

Download Utilities Guide