Local Utility Does a Great Job Managing Crisis with Social Media

A few weeks ago, we had a major windstorm. Power was knocked out for hundreds of thousands of families in the area. Nobody had any idea of when power would be restored.  The local utility company in the area stepped up and used social media technologies to provide timely information to those customers with access to the internet. PSNH utilized their Facebook page, twitter account and website on a continuous basis each day of the aftermath, until power was restored to all residents. They had a person dedicated to responding to tweets from customers about particular areas of towns. They did the same on Facebook. They also proactively posted new updates every few hours on their website with maps. These updates about their progress to restore power were also linked through twitter and Facebook.

As a customer, I felt comforted in knowing how much progress was being made. I felt some control over being able to access the company, without having to hold on their toll-free phone number. I was impressed by the dedication of their crews out at all hours working to restore power.  These efforts left me feeling just a little less stressed being without power for 6 plus days with 3 little kids.

As a marketer, I was impressed with their decision and dedication to these social media avenues. They realized how important communication is in times of stress. They went above and beyond the traditional methods of support, thus making at least this one customer feeling very positively about their company. Although I don’t have a lot of choice when it comes to selecting power companies. I feel more loyal because of their efforts during this crisis. I worry a little less about their rates. I somehow feel that previously I was paying a few dollars too much each month. Now I feel like those few dollars extra  now are at least going towards paying for a person or persons to better support me when the next crisis hits.

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~ by Shannon Group on April 10, 2010.

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