The fifth-largest publicly traded natural gas company in the nation, Spire Inc.’s natural gas utilities and related businesses work together to enrich the lives of the 1.7 million customers they serve across Missouri, Mississippi, and Alabama.
Spire recently acquired several regional gas companies and the legacies, identities, and challenges that came along with them. Spire wanted to honor the history and community behind these brands while introducing itself to customers as a better way forward.
Spire customers from all legacy companies needed one place to go to pay their bills, answer their questions about natural gas, and engage with Spire. But Spire’s web presence consisted of sites on different platforms, offering radically different customer experiences. And because Spire is made up of multiple smaller gas companies, each service area had its own unique content and contact info; customers needed to be served the correct info based on their geographic location while the site maintained static HTML caching.
Spire tasked VML to convert several disparate systems and experiences into a cohesive digital experience at the new SpireEnergy.com. VML built the site on Drupal 8 using Bricks to speed development increase end-user flexibility. Additionally, VML leveraged Google Locations integrations and swapped out content on the site contextually to where a user indicates they are from, or by auto-location detection, maintaining cacheability throughout the site.
In the month after launch, online visitors increased 262 percent compared with the prior year period. The additional 250,000 website users represent a potential monthly cost savings of $1.9 million for Spire, with the assumption that visitors would have previously telephoned for customer service. Additionally, SpireEnergy.com was a critical step in service consolidation, having saved customers an estimated $69 million, according to Spire Chief Operating Officer Steve Lindsey.