When a pipeline breaks, you don’t need to notify 2,000 people if only 100 lose service. And in a drought, it’s not your low water users that need to conserve.

While proactive communication with customers has been shown to build trust, foster relationships, and boost customer satisfaction, sending irrelevant or confusing information can have the opposite effect.

What is Targeted Communication?

Targeted communication means sending focused information to specific residents rather than sharing an irrelevant or diluted message with everyone. Geo targeting might be used during a localized event (like a pipeline break) when only certain geographic areas are impacted. At other times, accounts might be targeted based on meter size, water use, or any other status.

Targeted Communication and Conservation

Every water system has high water users and low water users, which is why blanketed approaches to conservation don’t always achieve desired results.

Imagine a utility has a rebate program for smart irrigation controllers. Promoting this program to all residents will likely spark interest amongst both high and low water users. The problem is, by participating in the program, some low water users might actually increase their water use—negating conservation benefits of the rebate.

It doesn’t make sense to promote turf removal programs to residents who don’t have a lawn. Just like it doesn’t make sense to ask for a 5% water use reduction from residents already using 90% less than your system average.

A targeted approach to conservation can allow utilities to maximize budget and conservation outcomes by sharing relevant and actionable information with residents.

Targeted Communication and Emergency Response

Sending emergency notifications to residents who are not impacted by a boil order, pipeline break, natural disaster, or other emergency event can easily cause unnecessary alarm and confusion. By keeping messages targeted and helpful, you can avoid message fatigue and build trust with your community.

Getting Started with Targeted Communication

The biggest mistake many water providers make when getting started with customer engagement is selecting tools that don’t allow them to segment their contact list. Many services can provide options to send mass notifications to residents who have provided contact information—but being able to segment that list based on geography, customer class, billing status, or other classification can level up your customer communications.

See how your organization can get started with targeted communication by scheduling a free consultation with a utility communication expert.

Published On: July 22nd, 2021 / Categories: Communication Strategy, Water /

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