Updater solves the inefficiencies (and headaches) of moving, with technology

Dennis Donovan, VP of Utility & Warranty at Updater, recently spoke with Chartwell about relocation technology, challenges movers face, and what the mover experience of the future looks like.

Chartwell: Why talk about moving?

Dennis Donovan: Utilities sit at the center of the chaos that is moving. Hooking up electric or gas, setting up an internet plan, booking a moving company, packing – it’s chaotic and fragmented. According to internal data, movers consider “utility setup” to be the number two priority during a move, only second to setting up a television and internet plan. Utilities are critical to customers during a move.

Chartwell: That’s true. So, what emerging technology will have the greatest impact on moving customers?

DD: Technologies that help utilities become a “provider of solutions” will make outsized impact. Customers expect brands to deliver more than ever before and utility brands are no exception. Adding value in our space can mean many things, but I believe the moving customer can be serviced best through beyond-the-meter programs. Programs like a moving concierge, internet setup to address the stressors I mentioned earlier, warranties, surge protection, and more.

Chartwell: Who owns moving concierge technology at a utility?

DD: It differs depending on the utility. Our program, for example, is handled by customer care and customer experience teams, by marketers, by product, by digital, and deregulated warranty teams. Regardless of who owns it, most of the teams work cross-functionally with us to drive success.

Chartwell: What do you think the future of customer experience looks like?

DD: I believe the future of customer experience across many industries is a highly-personalized one. This isn’t simply adding a first name to an email. This involves knowing the customer’s past history (behavioral), knowing what they need (future-looking & recommendations), and tailoring the right journey. Demographic and behavioral groups form personas; each persona has a preference for billing and payment, how many emails are too many, how to communicate during outages, etc. Focusing on personalization is step one, but prioritizing it will separate the good from the great experiences.

Chartwell: What utility implementation are you most proud of and why?

DD: We recently transferred a utility’s concierge experience from pre-existing static landing pages into Updater’s app. The enhancements generated a 4x bump in total mover engagement, the utility’s sales of moving-related products and services increased by 93% year-over-year, and the utility’s revenue increased by 82% year-over-year. It’s fantastic to see both the utility and the customer benefit through material improvements.

Chartwell: What Updater initiative has you most excited?

DD: We’re currently laying the foundation to establish a digital start/stop/transfer program for our millions of movers, regardless of location. A smooth move involves a more integrated transfer, especially when moving long-distance. Considering the unprecedented nature of this initiative, we’re currently hosting roundtable discussions to share best practices in mover customer care and identify innovative partners.