Ofgem has this week introduced new regulations aimed at making the electricity market more competitive. These measures will cause energy prices to drop across the board, and allow smaller players to enter the market.
In a commodity market where wholesale prices have to be set two years in advance, margins are going to be slimmer for the Big Six suppliers and it will be harder for them to win on price.
If the big suppliers want to maintain their market share, it will be even more critical than before for them to differentiate themselves by providing a better customer experience than their competitors.
Irfan Habib, Senior Solutions Consultant at Content Guru, comments, “Having worked with several of the Big Six on projects to improve the customer service they provide from their contact centres, it is clear to me that price is not the key cause of customer churn in the industry.
“Although consumers will make their initial decision on which energy provider to go with largely based on price, it is only a bad service experience which can really break consumer inertia and cause them to reconsider their preferred supplier.”
Habib continues, “And it’s only when there are problems with their supply or their bills that consumers really interact with their energy provider. At these pinch points, the contact centre is the battleground where customers are lost and won.
“These new regulations will mean that it is more important than ever for the Big Six to ensure that they don’t give customers any reason to consider looking around for a better deal. They’ve got the brand awareness to be positioned as the most trusted suppliers in the marketplace, but only if they make it easy and convenient for their customers to deal with them.”