In 2019, SECC will be recognizing a member each month, providing an organizational profile and highlighting the member's accomplishments and output in the smart energy space.
ICF is a global consulting services company with over 5,500 specialized experts helping guide utilities in developing more meaningful customer relationships and building pathways to the energy grid of the future. ICF brings together digital strategists, economists, creatives and data scientists to combine unmatched industry expertise with cutting-edge engagement capabilities to help organizations solve their most complex challenges. Since 1969, public and private sector clients have worked with ICF to navigate change and shape the future. Learn more at icf.com.
ICF has decades of experience working with a wide variety of utilities and understands the myriad challenges they face. These include increasingly aggressive energy-saving goals with limited budgets, a rapidly changing pricing and delivery landscape, the siloed nature of key parts of the utility business model, and digital transformation that is changing the way utility customers relate to their utility and the expectations they have for customer service. A crucial step in overcoming these challenges is for utilities to build trust and loyalty with their customers through personalized, customer-centric engagement.
ICF believes that the key to utility success in the evolving industry is moving customers from transactional loyalty to emotional loyalty. With transactional loyalty, customers feel no emotional investment in their utility and simply expect a service in exchange for their monthly bill payment; inertia is the only thing keeping them loyal. Building emotional loyalty requires that customers believe their utility cares about them and that they are treated like a human being, not an account number.
ICF brings together broad subject matter expertise of the utility business, as well as best-in-class marketing and technology capabilities, to help utilities foster customer loyalty in a way that meets 21st-century challenges. ICF’s 30 years of experience in energy efficiency programs and in creating engagement campaigns for consumer brands, such as BMW and Amtrak, allow them to craft strategies that combine data analytics with behavioral science to nudge customers in the most timely, effective way possible. They take a holistic approach to problem-solving that helps them create a tailored solution appropriate for each utility’s unique circumstances and provide the best capabilities rather than being tethered to a single technology platform.
ICF’s comprehensive engagement solution leverages well-crafted messaging, customer insights and data analytics to drive omnichannel, personalized recommendations that align customer needs and interests with utility goals. By combining expertise in smart home technology, marketing, e-commerce, behavioral energy efficiency and loyalty, ICF drives next-generation customer engagement that creates deep emotional connections. ICF’s diverse experience also means they are uniquely positioned to deliver solutions and customer insights to better serve utility customers across both residential and the historically under-served small business segments.
ICF has more than a decade of experience designing, implementing and administering both residential and small commercial behavioral programs across the U.S. and Canada that increase customer satisfaction and build brand loyalty in addition to delivering energy savings. Behavioral programs provide a unique opportunity to have a meaningful conversation with a large group of customers about their energy usage, as well as an opportunity to build trust through personalization, rewards, and responsive messaging and offers. ICF’s behavioral programs shift customers from being passive receivers of energy reports to active participants in other programs, digital experiences and promotions. The network of partnerships that ICF maintains with software providers and vendors allows them to offer the most flexible, comprehensive, best-in-breed solutions tailored to each utility’s unique market and regulatory requirements. Because ICF builds programs, and not just software, they understand the importance of putting utility customers first and offering engaging experiences to help them better understand their energy consumption and build emotional loyalty with their utility at the same time.