May 20, 2014

Gulf Power Uses iFactor Mobile App to Communicate During Spring Storms

Gulf Power Facebook post about mobile app

During the storms, Gulf Power posted links on its Facebook page to encourage customers to download the mobile app.

During the most recent bout of bad weather to strike the Florida Panhandle, iFactor client Gulf Power provided information about outages and restoration progress updates to customers on a variety of communication channels that make up the Utility’s Outage Communications System. The latest addition to this system is the Gulf Power Mobile Outage App, which is powered by our iFactor Mobile™ solution.

Gulf Power’s Mobile Outage App launched at the end of November 2013, and is available for iOS and Android mobile devices. The app allows customers to report an outage, check the status of a previously reported outage, view the outage map, read news items from Gulf Power’s website, access the utility’s social media accounts, or a view a list of the Utility’s contact numbers with one-touch calling.

To encourage use and make the login process easier, the app gives customers the option of using either their utility account number or the phone number associated with their account to log in. In addition, the app can be set to remember the user’s information for future logins.

L: Mobile Outage App home screen; C: Storm Center outage map in iOS app; R: Contacts list in Android app

The Mobile Outage App adds additional support to Gulf Power’s efforts to improve its outage communications. During the recent storms in Florida, the Utility emphasized the work being done to restore power by providing links to the mobile app and its Storm Center outage map on social media and in news releases. Gulf Power also added an embedded version of its outage map to its home page, making it easier for customers visiting the Utility’s website to find important information.

Gulf Power website banner with storm info and outage map

This alert banner from Gulf Power’s home page included a fully interactive version of the Storm Center outage map, as well as links to the Utility’s outage information web pages.

According to Gulf Power, the outage map and app took on a life of their own during the weather event. Many customers shared the map with their friends via social media sites. Local news media in Florida – TV stations in particular – consistently referred to the Gulf Power outage map, and many online media sites used information from the map and app to report outage status to their followers. Whereas in the past Gulf Power saw many customers using social media to ask about outage updates, there was less traffic during this storm, which suggests that customers are using the outage map and mobile app to self-serve for outage information. To learn more about outage communication solutions like those used by Gulf Power, contact us at info@kubra.com.