Over a relatively short period of time we have seen
customers' expectations change dramatically. Busy people who
are constantly on the move are utilising new technology for
everyday tasks such as banking, shopping and catching up on the
This shift has forced customer service to the top of the agenda
for all consumer brands. The utilities sector has additional
challenges. A majority of customers perceive current energy costs
to be particularly high. When you combine this with the regulator
driving price transparency, and technology providing customers with
the tools to compare these prices and discuss quality of service in
open forums very quickly and easily, the customer experience and
brand loyalty are two topics high on the agenda of the utility
executives. Smart meters could be part of the solution, but with
the recent announcement from DECC (Feb 2012) that the
implementation of such devices will be made on a voluntary basis by
each individual household, the need for effective communication is
still present. Once this hurdle has been overcome, the use of data
analytics to provide invaluable customer insight will come to the
Customer strategy vs. Behaviour
There is a misalignment between customer strategies and
behaviours which result in further challenges to the sector, such
High cost to serve – Utilities firms are not adapting
their service models to address the changing needs and expectations
of the customer.
High volume of complaints – In 2011, Ofgem issued a
total of £10m in penalties to a number of utility providers
deemed to have breached regulations, setting standards for the way
energy companies handle complaints.
Low customer satisfaction – Customer experience
within the utility sector is often characterised as being
disjointed with low first time resolution rates and inconsistent
levels of service across different channels.
High customer churn – A high percentage of customers
are switching energy provider each year, with recent market surveys
indicating that in 2010 this was between15-17% of domestic
High level of debt management – Debt management is
traditionally seen as a challenge across the utilities sector,
resulting in significant bad debt provisioning and write offs.
We have a wealth of experience implementing customer-focussed
transformations across a range of sectors. Our approach to customer
transformation in the utilities sector is to develop a customer
strategy that balances value to the customer, as well as, value and
cost to the business in line with its overall objectives. We do
this by focussing on optimising every customer contact across the
Our approach to customer transformation in the utilities sector
is to develop a customer strategy that balances value to the
customer, as well as, value and cost to the business in line with
its overall business objectives.
While we support transformation across all aspects of marketing,
sales and customer service, four areas are particularly relevant to
the current challenges facing the utilities sector
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In June 2014 the UK Government released its ‘finalised policy positions for implementation of the electricity market reform’ programme, which it frames as the ‘biggest reform to the electricity sector since its privatisation’.