Callcredit Blog

Turning up the heat on electricity charges

Consumer Marketing Data

This week, I received my electricity bill for the last three months.  Helpfully, it included a summary of power usage for the last 12 months and a predicted cost for the next year – higher than expected I must admit.  Now, given that I’ve been with the same supplier for a number of years, I began to wonder if I should check the market to see if I’m on the right tariff and provider.

I’ll not be alone in doing this.  Higher prices mean more customers will be shopping around and others (more than five million households according to recent research) have fallen into debt – raising the stakes on the dual challenge of retaining customers whilst at the same time attracting new customers who are less likely to ‘surf away’ at the end of a fixed deal.  Add to this, Ofgem’s recent fines levied for mis-selling, turning up the heat on utility companies.

Turning up the heat

A quick straw poll around the office revealed that for those that had switched supplier recently, each did it in different ways – for this sample, the comparison site was not ubiquitous. One had received a timely call whilst trying to resolve a long standing dispute with his incumbent supplier, another got an online quote having received an email and yet another did quite a bit of research on consumer forums.

So, one size would not seem to fit all.  So what does this mean for marketing, especially in the light of a halt being called to doorstep selling, and upcoming tariff simplification changes?   If the conversations in social forums are anything to go by, many customers are scrutinising the end dates for fixed tariffs and preparing to transfer.

A whole new set of dynamics are coming into play for marketers and the winners will be those that can work out the best engagement method for each customer and prospective customer alike using the wealth of data that is now available.

Looking further out, might we see a time where the principles of Conduct Risk being readied for financial services providers are applied to utilities products, for example the burden being placed on the supplier (rather than the customer) to check that the package being offered to each customer is suitable for their individual needs.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *