Utility Increases Awareness and Adoption of Kiosk Payment Option
Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO/AEP) educational program creates results.
PSO/AEP rolled-out a new prepaid metering option that increased demand for pay-in-person locations offering the ability to take payment and post data 24x7x365. To complement this new customer program, PSO/AEP worked with U.S. Payments to add more than 100 PaySite® bill payment kiosks in retail establishments throughout Oklahoma. How do you educate customers about more than 100 new locations to pay bills utilizing a technology they haven’t tried before?
Identify the target customer:
The market for prepaid electricity includes cash-preferred customers, customers in arrears, and customers with low credit scores. Millennials are two-times as likely to have interest in prepaid energy. According to a recent DEFG study, 43% of respondents value the increased control over energy costs.
Medium selection and content distribution:
PSO/AEP implemented an integrated strategy to maximize reach and retention, utilizing the following projects.
- Bill Inserts: Yep, still making an impact. Bill stuffers continue to be an effective communication tool to reach customers.
- Email Blasts: Especially appropriate for paperless billing customers and newsletter subscribers.
- In-person Paying Customer Mailer: This method allows for concentrated targeting of key demographics.
- Payment Center Finder: PSO/AEP implemented a “Kiosks Only” button for customers searching for pay locations. Research shows some users prefer self-service compared to traditional over-the-counter options.
- Store Signage: U.S. Payments deployed a variety of signage solutions at retail locations to generate awareness for PSO/AEP customers.
- Community Event Participation: Exhibited at the Tulsa State Fair, Tulsa Home & Garden show, and other Oklahoma events to promote Power Pay and other new products.
- Targeted Apartment Complex Communications: Door hangers and brochures.
- Web & Social Media: Coordinated by U.S. Payments, social media served as a reinforcement of PSO’s communications
Crafting the Message
A key component in the success of these marketing efforts is the simplicity of the content and the ease of adoption. The fundamental message is Power Pay does not require a large deposit, allows you to pay on your terms, and you have increased management over your usage. Additionally, simply call this number to set up your Power Pay. Consistent with the benefit focused messaging with Power Pay, a similar approach was implemented to promote the PaySite kiosk network. There are strong demographic correlations when considering prepaid energy and in-person payers, making collaborative content especially important to the recipients of the various communications.
The following data explains the results of the aforementioned marketing projects implemented by PSO/AEP and U.S. Payments.
- Store Signage Deployed by U.S. Payments (May 2016)
- “Kiosks Only” button implemented on PSO’s location finder website (2016).
- In-Person Payer Mailer (April 2017)
- Bill Inserts (April 2018)
- Email Blast (August 2018)
Kiosk transactions increased more than 500% from 2016 to 2018
PSO/AEP recognized the need for new payment technology to accompany its prepaid metering options. Once presented with the in-person payment options, customers made the shift. PSO/AEP delivers a technologically powerful solution for customers to better manage their electric usage and monitor their activities as they relate to energy consumption.
In order to influence the adoption of Power Pay and PaySite, PSO/AEP communicated a clear and simple message. Clean content development and messaging, in addition to strategic medium selection, accelerated the adoption rate.