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Lassen Municipal Utility District Mitigates Smart Meter Conversion Concern with Education

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Technology and change can be equally exciting and scary at the same time. When Lassen Municipal Utility District (LMUD) decided to convert their community to AMI (smart) meters they wanted to help their customers understand what the new meters were and weren’t capable of. Education is key in any situation like this, so they asked the team at Goldstreet for help with the intention of being transparent and open about the technology without overwhelming customers with “tech talk”.

In collaboration with Goldstreet, LMUD chose a multifaceted approach to informing their customers of the upcoming changes. Door hangers were used to let customers know that their meter had been exchanged or that access to their meter was not possible and they needed to contact the district to set-up a time. Information cards with the FAQs were placed in their lobby and given to the field personnel to have on hand in their vehicles when needed. If a customer came in with a question, a customer service representative had cards with answers they could provide.

Lassen thought that communication and reaching each customer was going to be crucial, regardless of their customers’ feelings toward the change – they were right. The positive response they received for keeping their customers in the loop, providing them an avenue to get their questions answered as well as their concerns addressed, proved to be the driving force in customer satisfaction. One customer said, “Thank you for leaving the door hanger about our meter and thank you for the dog treats too!”

The district’s, Theresa Phillips, said, “The materials we developed, with the help of Goldstreet, made it possible for us to reach every customer that was affected. We also did newspaper, radio, web site and social media outreach, but without a doubt, the printed materials that we were able to deliver to our customers were the most effective. The quality of the material, the information presented and the fact that customers had something they could refer to helped our utility achieve our communication goal.”

After the roll out of this program the only thing Lassen Municipal Utility District said they would have done differently was to have ordered more “sorry we missed you” door hangers as they were essential to rescheduling missed installs.

In partnership with Goldstreet, Lassen Municipal Utility District was able to educate their community of upcoming changes to the meter system they were used to and create trust with their customers while they adjusted to a needed upgrade in technology.

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