Over the last decade, social CRM has given companies a voice on a 24x7 basis – if they so choose. Companies which once were impossible to extract information from will now gladly answer questions via Twitter for the world to search and see. Nowhere is two-way flow of information more important than in the post Hurricane-Irene outage where millions on the east coast have been affected.
With a heavy reliance on well water, northeast electricity outage victims suffer not only from dead-gadgetitis but they also can’t even take showers or flush their toilets.
According to the Hartford Courant, out of all the states hit by the hurricane, the two worst from the perspective of power outages were Rhode Island at 64% - or a total of 274,807 homes and Connecticut at 44% or a full 693,205 households without power.
One of the main power providers in the Nutmeg State, CL&P thankfully allows web access to its repair schedule allowing customers to get an idea when their house will be reconnected to the network.
One person who used this feature told me they had their estimate revised as CL&P later determined the problem was more complex than originally thought. But generally, most people have been pretty happy with the web system the company has employed.
If there is any complaint about the CL&P website it is the sluggish performance of a site which Alexa typically ranks in the top 124,207 in the world in terms of traffic. Smaller numbers are better when it comes to Alexa and traffic grows exponentially at a certain point.
So this Alexa graph which shows the company’s site was actually below 10,000, two days ago gives an idea of just how much traffic Connecticut residents were throwing at it. This page view graph shows you a less comparative result of the website’s growth but is similar to the one above.
I reached out to CL&P for more information on their web traffic growth and they did not immediately respond with their take.
But perhaps they have been a bit busy – after all, the company says it has restored power to 288,000 customers within 24-hours of the storm ending and they say they still have 515,300 to go. Some quick math shows that the Hartford Courant estimates of Connecticut residents without power was low by over 100,000 – and CL&P isn’t the only electricity provider to the state!
One bit of good news for CT residents is that with power being restored by the hundreds of thousands, the stress on CL&P’s website is decreasing and as a result it seems to have become more responsive in my latest informal tests.