9 reasons electric suppliers need robust websites
Electric suppliers are in the same position as other small businesses when it comes to maintaining a website. Here are reasons suppliers need great sites.
Would you shop at a grocery store that had dirty windows and weeds growing in front of it? Would you eat at a restaurant that had a broken sign hanging loosely over the sidewalk? Would you keep going back to a bakery where the open sign was on but the door was always locked?
Of course not, because all of those things are indicators that a particular business doesn’t care. Call them red flags if you want, but it gives the impression that they won’t even bother to put on appearances. So, if you visited a website that looked horrible and was hard to navigate, would you give them your business? Again, of course not.
The majority of business searches start on the internet. This means that the first thing potential customers will know about you is the quality of your website. It doesn’t matter if your business is internet-based or not, even electric suppliers need to have great looking, highly-functioning sites.
Read on for more reasons why you need a robust website to attract, engage, and retain customers.
- Show Credibility
A well-designed website gives a business credibility in the same way a fantastic looking storefront on a brick and mortar location does. If your website is well-maintained it shows you care about how your business looks. That perception reflects back on the company. If you look better, customers feel better about doing business with you.
Went it comes time to choose an energy supplier, the price may be the biggest factor. Some customers worry about environmental impact, but mostly they’ll want to know about fixed rates for energy. Making this information easy to find lends credibility by being transparent. Many people get confused when it comes to energy suppliers. They may not know the differences between utility companies and energy suppliers, and your website is a chance to provide that information.
- Build Trust
With credibility comes trust. A robust, high-functioning websites gives users trust in your company. When they visit your site they are looking for answers to questions. They have a problem they need to solve. They might need information on power outages, how to print their bill, due dates, or information on where to send their payment. Make this information easy to find and that builds trust.
Incorporating a blog into the website is another way to build trust with consumers. Providing regularly-updated information keeps them engaged. Offering tips on how to save money on electric bills shows you have their best interests in mind. Articles on new energy supplier technology shows that you are in tune with changes in the industry. A good blog allows for these things.
Providing engaging, informative content builds trust, and as an added bonus, it’s a great marketing opportunity. Blogs provide the perfect opportunity to introduce new products and services. Blogs are also an opportunity to share your business philosophy and let customers know you are community-oriented.
Another benefit of blogs is that by consistently posting new content you’ll help boost your search rankings. This means you will be easier to find. If you are the first company they see when they search for an energy supplier, don’t let them down with a low-quality website. This is your time to give them a valuable experience and make a great first impression.
- First Impressions Are Key
You never get a second chance at a first impression. We’ve mostly heard this as it relates to job interviews and dating, but it’s true when choosing a supplier power, or any company you want to do business with.
A study conducted by Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab found that 75 percent of web users make judgments about a company based solely on the design of their websites. If you’re only looking for a quarter of the market, then, by all means, have a shoddy website. If you care about appealing to the other three quarters, then a great website is essential to achieving that goal.
User-friendly navigation is also something those potential customers will appreciate within a few minutes of visiting your site. This includes having important information visible and easy to navigate.
How to choose an energy supplier is something people are curious about, especially when cost rise. A good website allows you to make your case and put your company forward as their best option.
- Gain and Retain Customers
When people choose energy suppliers, the cost is an important factor, but having information that is easily available is also important. If they can’t find your prices or see how your company benefits them, then they may click on the competition.
A bad website can also lead to a bad reputation. It looks sloppy so potential customers will think your business is sloppy.
It also has a negative impact on search rankings. A poorly maintained webpage with many broken links is essentially invisible online. A business can’t grow if it isn’t searchable.
If your customers can find you, understand you, and trust you, you will gain their business. Continue and you will retain them for years to come. That is the goal of any businesses not just Electric suppliers.
- Save Time
A website that works well on the consumer end is a time saver for everyone. The more information customers can find out themselves the better. This includes finding account balances, paying bills, and getting answers to frequently asked questions. Customers who are unable to quickly get the information they need from the website will call you instead. A high volume of phone calls requires additional staff, even if you use an automated phone system. A robust website providing good information limits this need and saves time.
A good FAQs page is a great way to provide information to customers, especially if they can search for by topic. Any way a website can incorporate self-help features for consumers is time-saving and cost-cutting.
- Save Money
Time is money, so when your employees are not on the phones or answering emails, they’re doing other things. Any time not devoted to handling customer problems which could easily be solved with FAQs pages or customer-managed accounts cuts down on payroll.
Web functions like automated bill payment and customer alerts further limit the amount of time needed to process customer requests. The option to go paperless with bills is another way to cut down costs on paper and postage.
All of these things are possible with a high functioning website. Great web design and development is a big investment, it’s true, but it is a huge money saver in the long term.
- Give Customers Control
Most customers appreciate the ability to manage their own accounts. When they are able to schedule payments, check due dates, and quickly view account balances they feel more in control. This goes to the saving time and money aspects, but it also helps enforce the trust factor too. If it’s convenient, easy, and transparent, customers will stick around. When they have access they feel invested.
- Provide Accessibility
Accessibility is about a few different things, but they’re connected. A quality website is accessible to consumers on any device. That means it’s just as easy to navigate on a laptop or desktop as it is on a mobile phone or tablet. The website needs to be responsive across different browsers and it needs to be user-friendly.
Accessibility is also about being functional for people with disabilities. An amendment to the Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires federal agencies to make their information technology accessible to people with disabilities. While electric suppliers are not federal agencies, they would be wise to follow suit to avoid potential lawsuits. Everybody needs electric power, so it doesn’t make sense to turn people away because they can’t use your website.
- Get Information out Fast
When there is an emergency, customers often turn to their electric supplier’s website to get information. A web page violator gets attention and relays urgent information. A managed messaging system alerts customers through email and text messaging. This information is critical in the event of severe storm activity, high winds, and other power outages.
Customers like to explore their options and get information. For electric suppliers, this includes information on generator synchronization or what is the cause behind a power disruption.
Information is a two-way street. A great feature of a robust website is asking for feedback. This can be in the form of simple and quick customer service surveys or asking customers for ways the company can improve.
Electric Suppliers Need Robust Websites
Electric suppliers are no different from any other service businesses. They share the same goal of attracting new customers and keeping them. Informing their customers about services is key. Maintaining a robust, well-designed and maintained website is essential to building trust and credibility.
It’s easier than ever to build high functioning websites. Plug-ins make adding new elements easier. Content management systems and cloud storage gives companies even more possibilities to create a great customer experience.
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