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Illustration of Santa Claus looking at list of smart tech gifts

Smart Tech Gifts: Connect with Customers this Holiday Season

The holiday shopping season may look a little different this year, but what hasn’t changed are the deals. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, stores started offering Black Friday sales as early as Amazon Prime Day in mid-October.

As gift-givers scour the internet for the best prices on laptops, TVs, speakers and more, your energy utility should be aware of the season’s trending gadgets as well. By knowing what smart tech gifts are on customers’ lists, your energy utility can better engage with them throughout the year.

Customers want: Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5

Although there probably won’t be many sales on these popular gaming consoles, these are sure to be hot picks this year. No matter what your preferred device is, the release of both the new Xbox and PlayStation systems will surely create some sell-outs and waitlists this year as they advance to the top of the Christmas list.

Your utility should care because of… gamification.

Gamification, or the application of gaming elements in other activities, is a powerful way to engage with customers while speaking to their playful and competitive sides. Adding gamification to your content strategy will boost engagement, drive customers to your website and help you reach program conversion goals.

Customers want: Echo Show 5

The Echo Show allows customers to make hands-free video calls, listen to music, ask Alexa questions and more. The smart capabilities of this device give customers the ability to control lights, thermostats or security cameras through its smart plug connections.

Your utility should care because… it’s a smart home resource.

Smart technology falls right within energy utilities’ focus. Connected gadgets make customers’ lives easier and give them more control over their energy use. Many energy utilities already have smart speaker technology set up for customers to say “Alexa, pay my energy bill,” but think of the possibilities of a smart speaker and video screen in one. Not only could you help customers pay their bill from the Echo Show, you could show them a video that shows them how to save energy or sign up for a new program. Your energy utility could even integrate an outage map to help customers stay informed during storms.

Customers want: Google Nest

A smart thermostat lets customers breathe easy knowing they can optimize their home’s heating and cooling without lifting a finger. The Nest and other smart thermostats automatically adjust to a customer’s habits to regulate their home’s comfort. Plus, features allow customers to set energy efficient temperatures to be more eco-friendly.

Your utility should care because of… peak demand programs.

Smart thermostats can reduce energy consumption and support the grid during hours of peak demand. In addition, promoting smart thermostats positions your energy utility as a helpful resource to customers who want to save energy. You can also interest them in other efficiency programs or time-of-use rate options. The Nest is also a perfect addition to your energy utility’s marketplace.

Customers want: Smart TV

Black Friday is prime time when it comes to deals on big TVs. Name a brand and there will be a smart TV that fits customers’ size and price requirements. Now, smart TVs have even more capabilities than they used to, including compatibility with both Google Assistant and Alexa. Customers look to smart TVs for entertainment and information, adding on apps and widgets to enhance their daily lives, including weather or music streaming.

Your utility should care because… new customer engagement channels.

With the addition of so many apps on smart TVs, what’s stopping your energy utility from having one? You could use this as another method for customers to pay their monthly bill or to showcase engaging content. Plus, with many TVs incorporating Google or Amazon smart technologies, this is another way to ensure your smart speaker capabilities work on other connected devices.

With the holidays around the corner, now is the time for customers to find the perfect gift or treat themselves to the latest gadget. Make sure your energy utility is aware of the trending items this year so you can discover new ways to engage and entertain your customers. Happy shopping!

Are you connecting with customers for the holidays? Learn how Questline’s Holiday Social Media solution can build engagement throughout the season.