Reliant launches microsite for better CRM

In order to satisfy Reliant Energy’s 1.5 million retail customers it’s important that the Texas-based company live by its motto: You can rely on Reliant. That means providing quality electricity and energy services to private homes, businesses, manufacturing facilities, government entities and institutions. 

But in today’s world — where customers are constantly engaged by marketing campaigns and real-time customer service reps — Reliant wanted to provide customers a place to find relevant information to make more informed energy decisions. On December 7, it launched the “Empowerme: Conversations about Energy in Your Life” microsite.

“We knew we were missing some substantial interactions with customers,” said Sicily Dickenson, senior director of marketing communications at Reliant Energy. “We weren’t as engaged with our customers as we wanted to be, [and engagement] is key to [developing] long term customer relationships.”

Reliant’s desire to locate and reach out to its customers led the company to call on Schematic, an interactive brand experience agency, to create a community site that would pull together all of the relevant conversations taking place across various social networks.

The site was built to accomplish three objectives, according to Dickenson: 1) To allow Reliant to be where customers and prospects are 2) To broaden the conversation Reliant has with prospects and customers and 3) To enable Reliant’s subject matter experts to be in constant touch with customers.

“Overall, energy alone is not a real high-interest category,” said Alex Norman, Schematic’s EVP of strategic development. “However the impact that energy has on peoples’ lives is rich. So we created an opportunity to engage about how important energy is to them and their lives.”

Although the site just went up this week, Dickenson envisions that it will soon feature user-generated discussions, as well as company-created content. The site will also pull in all user-submitted comments and articles posted on Reliant’s Facebook page or Twitter feed to make it available on the Empowerme site. The back-end of the solution offers Reliant employees training tools, guidelines and simple-to-use management functionality that will help them to administer and expand the network.

Reliant will be tracking the community for the next 6 months to determine and solidify how it will utilize this tool moving forward. It expects to monitor the leading topics that customers and prospects are interested in, what they view as positive or negative, and how many recommendations they send out.

Empowerme gives Reliant a more real-time pulse on what people want,” Dickenson said. “It’s a really great way to watch what people are getting interested in so that we can continue to develop [our] tools.”

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