The utility sector is undergoing major transformation
Competition in energy has eroded the market share of the big 6 players, which fell to 70% in H2 2022. However, rising prices have seen many new suppliers go bust. Consumers and businesses worry about their bills and are looking to cut costs.
While not impacted by competition or rising prices, water companies still face calls to improve how they operate. There is a lot of pressure to do more to stop leaks, and prevent pollution and the dumping of sewage into rivers. Research commissioned by regulator Ofwat found that just 25% of consumers felt their water provider acted in the best interests of customers.
Customer expectations are changing
As well as the best possible prices they also want an excellent customer experience – and when it comes to their energy supplier, they are happy to vote with their feet if they don’t receive it. ContactBabel estimates that electricity and gas suppliers are losing £448m every year as customers switch after experiencing poor service and long wait times.
Demonstrating the need for improvement, Ofgem found weaknesses in how all suppliers handled customer service.
Sustainability has become a focus for everyone
Consumers and businesses expect more from their utilities, moving beyond simply supplying essential services such as water, gas, and electricity. They are looking for advice and support on how to save money and become greener. Most providers are falling short.
Customers, regulators, governments, and the wider sector. To meet their own and wider targets utilities need to lead the way in how they operate, generate power, manage water leaks and work with communities.
This guide sets out how utilities, and their wider supplier ecosystems, can re-connect with customers through the smart use of technology within customer service.