Empowering customer engagement

In early 2015, Alabama Power Company (APC) approached IfThen to help develop a new customer engagement strategy for its online domain. We aimed to reimagine the site and make it easier for customers to carry out key tasks, broaden their perceptions of the company, and modernize site architecture for the contemporary web.

We started by digging into the needs of various stakeholders including customers, the business, internal staff and others to determine key challenges. Our interviews and operational research established the basis for a “segmentation framework,” or representative personas. In turn, we could organize customers into meaningful groups, and identify behavioral paths and objectives to focus the work.

Alabama Power serves the needs of many different groups, and its website needs to balance these needs:

Customers needed easier access to their accounts and routine tasks, personalized tools to help save money and energy, and more productive site searches.

Alabama Power’s business team needed to broaden customer perceptions beyond providing electricity, generate leads through compelling content, and to lower calls to its customer care center.

The company’s internal teams needed strategy and roadmaps for creating new content for various segments at different points in the customer journey and a better content management system.

We designed the homepage to be simpler and easier to use for customers. We aligned content to highlight useful and admirable aspects of Alabama Power: their commitment to community, to businesses and to the environment. We modernized the front-end design and back-end functionality to streamline the delivery and consumption of all website content.

Because more and more people are using mobile devices on the web, the site’s new high-quality Responsive Web Design layout presented quick links, login, search, and featured content across all devices to meet customers wherever they were.

To make website content more consumer friendly, we simplified terminology, featured a comprehensive glossary of energy terms, surfaced articles and tools with advice and techniques that encourage customers to use energy more wisely, and added filters to search results to help customers get the information they wanted quickly.

Additionally, we created all new content to support Alabama Power’s strategic business goals – educating prospective businesses and industry clients in the ways Alabama Power empowers business in the state towards shared prosperity.

We also migrated AlabamaPower.com to the Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) content management system and streamlined the content authoring workflow for internal teams. This made the process of site authoring more efficient, as well as more measurable for analytics tracking and reporting.

Finally, our team provided in-depth, customized author training and documentation to ensure our client was ready to take ownership of their new site and workflows with confidence and success.

After months of concerted and coordinated effort, the newly rebuilt website launched in the fall of 2016 at http://www.alabamapower.com. The new site meets the challenge of balancing the needs of all stakeholders: providing the best customer experience across platforms, increasing efficiency for the business, and giving Alabama Power a strategic platform for years to come.