The energy price cap was set at a record £1,277 a year on 1st October. This increase represents a staggering 12% rise in energy prices at a time of the year when people are going to be using more heating and lighting during the winter months. The energy market is incredibly volatile and no one knows what will happen to energy prices next year. How will you help customers to save energy and keep costs down?
The rise in energy prices is causing widespread concern for many people whose household finances are already being squeezed on the back of the pandemic. While customers who are currently on fixed tariffs will remain unaffected, those coming to the end of a contract or whose supplier has gone bust, are being automatically moved to a default tariff set at the new price cap level.
Because of soaring global gas prices, energy suppliers’ hands are tied. They can’t offer customers with expensive energy bills advice on cheaper deals. For some customers, even a matter of a few pounds each year will make a world of difference to their budgets and standard of living. When you consider that prepayment meter customers with average energy use see a £153 annual increase in their energy bills, consumers need all the help they can get to reduce their energy consumption and keep costs to an absolute minimum.
For example, doing one less machine wash a week could save £8 a year; doing laundry at 30 degrees as opposed to 40 could save £13; turning the thermostat down 1 degree could save £55. It all adds up!
How will you help customers reduce their energy usage?
The good news for energy suppliers is that changing customer behavior is not an impossible or daunting task. It involves empowering customers with the right information and ‘nudging’ them to make the desired change.
A growing volume of research reveals that energy and water consumption behavior is not always rational and can benefit from nudges designed to encourage individuals to reduce consumption. That’s certainly our experience. Advizzo’s popular customer engagement programs are based on behavioral science techniques and are deployed by utilities around the world to motivate customers to change their behavior in order to reduce consumption. You can read more about the nudge theory that can help customers save energy in our blog ‘How a nudge can help customers save energy and water.’
How to (re)build Trust and customer engagement
For an energy supplier to influence a positive change in a customer’s behavior, the customer must trust them. Building that trust requires regular, positive and proactive interactions – specifically interactions that demonstrate that the provider cares about the customer and is invested in delivering quality service and support. Only this delivers tangible, lasting and sustainable customer satisfaction.
Our customer engagement solutions provide each customer with full visibility of their energy consumption; useful insights into how they are using their energy, as well as tips and advice on how to reduce their consumption that are relevant to their household.
Giving data back to users via a personalized and friendly online interface not only restores trust at a time when customers are understandably nervous and need additional support from their supplier, but also encourages two-way engagement, reduces complaints and the burden on call handlers, and improves customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Providing customers with a choice as to how they engage with their supplier is also essential. Every customer is different and has different preferences on how they receive or access information and engage with their supplier. A multi-channel communications offering that includes post, SMS, email, social channels, apps, as well as online portals is a must. Find out more about dealing with digitally savvy customers and the importance of coordinated communications to help customers save energy in our blog ‘Why multi-channel customer engagement is the new Business As Usual’.
Refine support for vulnerable customers
With rising energy costs, the ability to identify low income and potentially vulnerable customers who might require additional support and assistance is critical. Relying on customers to voluntarily put themselves on the Priority Services Register is not enough. Using data, we can segment customers to identify low income and potentially vulnerable households that might require additional assistance.
The type of support that a ‘vulnerable’ customer requires will very much depend on their individual circumstances (physical, financial, etc..). Having profiled and segmented your potentially vulnerable customers, our customer engagement platform enables you to target individuals with personalized and appropriate suggestions designed to help them reduce their consumption and their bills, as well as advice on appropriate support measures that are available to them. Read more about how to support vulnerable customers with rising energy costs on this subject in our blog ‘How Advizzo provides proactive support for vulnerable customers’.
How will you help your customers save energy and get more control over their bills this winter? Book a demo today and discover just how intuitive and powerful Advizzo’s customer engagement platform and solutions are.