Customer Journey Mapping Strengthens Electrification Program Offerings


The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) was rolling out a new electrification offering for its business customers. The utility wanted to understand the challenges faced by its target audiences so it could better serve the sustainability goals of the community. 


Questline Digital worked with CPAU to evaluate the electrification customer journey for multiple business accounts. Insights were gained through interviews with business customers that were considering or in the process of pursuing electrification projects. CPAU team members were also interviewed, and third-party data and research was used to further analyze the challenges and opportunities.


Questline Digital provided City of Palo Alto with actionable insights into their customers’ interests and needs. With this new understanding of the target audience’s roadblocks and motivations, CPAU identified ways it could adjust current programs to better meet the needs of its business customers.

Findings showed that CPAU had clear rebate application processes but that many customers remained uneducated about how they could benefit from pursuing these programs. Commercial customers had major learning gaps around the benefits and costs of electrification. Businesses needed CPAU to guide them through the process, from beginning to end.

High-level recommendations included:

  • Create a small playbook of fundamentals that can be used to educate those unfamiliar with electrification 
  • Conduct and publish a cost-benefit analysis by industry that addresses specific customer anxieties uncovered during interviews 
  • Help customers navigate paperwork by creating an electrification permit packet 
  • Provide customers with a vetted list of trustworthy contractors 
  • Generate a scorecard to help evaluate the motivation levels of target companies

Interviews also uncovered clear motivations for target audiences. Profiles were developed for property managers, sustainability program leaders and senior leaders so that CPAU could pursue segmented campaigns addressing the specific needs of each role. 

Additionally, learnings from the electrification journey mapping process are now being used to cross-examine and improve CPAU’s other programs, including zero-waste and water conservation. 

About City of Palo Alto Utilities

Palo Alto is the only city in California that owns and operates a full suite of municipal utility services, including electric, fiber optics, natural gas, water and wastewater. They have been providing services to the citizens and businesses of Palo Alto since 1896. City of Palo Alto Utilities’ mission is to provide safe, reliable, environmentally sustainable and cost-effective services.

Actionable insights drive CPAU’s strategies toward business electrification.

“For the City of Palo Alto, clear things came out of the journey mapping project with Questline Digital that were definitely eye-openers that I believe will shape our path forward now and into the future.”
—Brian Ward, Key Account Manager, City of Palo Alto Utilities