According to research conducted by Capgemini, 15% of domestic customers will switch supplier every year in the US.
With these churn rates, utility companies have to work hard to win customers and more importantly keep customers.
Utility companies leverage product offering to improve customer engagement
A recent study by J.D. Power explores the different ways that utility companies can engage with both business and residential customers. The study included more than 51,400 responses from residential customers of 137 of the largest electric utilities throughout the United States.
The study highlighted the need to leverage product and service offerings. A strong
The key findings from this study were:
- Electric business customers are more motivated by a strong utility
programmeoffering than residential customers, with a participation rate of 44% vs. 16%, respectively.
- Communicating and driving awareness of a
programmeof offerings provides a greater lift in satisfaction among business customers, compared with residential customers.
- Among the electric utility customers who participate in at least one product/service offering, 9% say they are "delighted," compared with 7% of those who participate but say they are "not delighted"
- The top three program offerings with the highest levels of awareness among residential customers are in-home energy audits (22%); rebates on Energy Star appliances (22%); and old appliance/refrigerator recycling (20%).
- The top three program offerings with the highest levels of participation among residential customers are tools that compare a customer's usage to other households (3.7%); central air conditioning cycling control (3.1%); and high-efficiency light bulb rebates or discounts (2.6%).
- Awareness of products/services is higher among electric business customers than among residential customers with respect to pricing and billing (63% vs., 33%, respectively); energy management (54% vs. 28%); and rebates (49% vs. 39%).
The business case for providing products and offerings that resonate with customers was all made. The more customers participate in program offerings, the more positive mentions they make, which help improve a utility's brand image.
So what can Irish Utility companies learn from this study and how can Irish Utility companies improve customer engagement?
Most Irish utility companies offer a host of services and product offerings including up to 15% on bundle products and discounts on energy saving products.
We have to assume that these offerings are scoring high with customers as they continue to be central to all utilities companies’ product offerings.
By including recycling old electric appliances could be very popular with Irish consumers, given its popularity in the USA. Perhaps, Irish Utility companies should consider adding this offer to the suite of product offerings.
While most utility companies including Electric Ireland,
Irish Utility companies could go a bit further by recommending ways to reduce your utility consumption for those households that are above the average.
This also provides a lovely message that utility companies will help you save money and thereby achieving a higher than average customer engagement.
Winning new customers and keeping existing customers continues to be a challenge for the Irish
Providing product and service offering that resonate with