Customer loyalty is hard to earn, but easily lost. According to The Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2020, nearly half of customers say they would switch to a competitor after just one bad experience. That number rises to a whopping 80% if a customer encounters more than one bad experience. While many energy suppliers are taking important steps to improve the experience they deliver, many customers are expecting even more from their supplier. We look at how embracing a user-led experience with the help of smart meter data and Advizzo’s customer engagement solutions can improve customer satisfaction, build trust and loyalty, and improve retention and growth.
Sky high customer expectations
Today’s fast-paced digital world is driven by switched on and connected consumers. Given the presence of large customer-friendly retailers, they are more aware than ever before what excellent service entails. They expect to be treated as individuals, and for the companies they do business with to understand their preferences and purchase history. As a result, they are unwilling to tolerate poor service and more inclined and capable of walking away.
Unfortunately, too many energy companies are struggling to meet customers’ expectations on customer service. According to data published by Citizens Advice in 2019, a quarter of suppliers failed to achieve even half-marks – with ten providers receiving just one or two out of five stars in its customer service league table.
Every year, utility companies are fined by the UK regulator for poor service or missed targets. Mis-selling was the number one reason for fines, generating £40.5million in fines. Complaints handling was next at £37.3million, whilst incorrect billing and overcharging totalled £25.7million1. Over the last decade utilities have paid £389m in fines – the equivalent of £100k-a-day or £14 per UK household!2
Reduce customer churn
One of the inevitable outcomes of bad customer service is high attrition rates. According to this study by Echo Managed Services, 34% of consumers aim to regularly switch their main utility accounts and 33% of customers leave due to poor customer service. A study published on the Harvard Business Review blog reveals that just less than half (43%) of utilities’ customers who have had a negative experience are still members after a year. That’s compared to 74% of those who’ve had a positive experience.
It’s time for suppliers to take action and improve their customer experience.According to Forrester, the message is starting to get through – with nearly 95% of leaders across utilities say that providing a great customer experience is their top strategic priority, while 75% claim they want to use customer experience as a competitive advantage3.
The solution lies in focusing on using customer smart meter data to ‘give something back’ to customers – to create a ‘user-led’ customer experience by way of enriching data and offering personalised insights, advice and tips.
Create a user-led customer experience
Advizzo helps utilities create a user-led customer experience by plugging in our APIs and combining it with multiple data sources such as metering, tariff, open-source or customers’ own input. We then help deliver a personalised online customer engagement experience based on an individual’s personal data. Using historical consumption alongside disaggregated usage data, we create and communicate tailored tips to help customers reduce their consumption, make changes at home and therefore optimize their bills and their impact on the planet. A neighbour comparison widget has proven impact and has shown to help customers change towards more sustainable behaviours.
Our personalised customer surveys, which up to 90% customers complete, provide additional information and detail, allowing for more precise campaigning and engagement. With this, Advizzo’s communications campaign tool could help deliver greater customer reach, engagement and impact conversion. It’s a great way to engage customers, build trust and loyalty, reduce churn and differentiate your company in the utility space.
You can read more about our engagement solutions here and in our blog – How Advizzo helps utilities generate value from smart meter data.
Alternatively, get in touch to book a free demo.