How energy suppliers can acquire new customers amidst rising prices
In the UK in particular, many companies, including Igloo, Green Energy UK, and NEO have closed their doors to new business. For some small energy providers, growing their customer base means facing bankruptcy. And in some cases, OFGEM has demanded that companies pay overdue taxesowed to the government.
With European energy prices showing no signs of slowing, suppliers need to evaluate their customer acquisition strategies. Amidst rising prices, how can energy providers stand out from the crowd and acquire new customers?
Make us of hard data
Data analytics presents energy suppliers with the opportunity to acquire new customers by examining market trends and changes in consumer behaviours. According to Mordor Intelligence, big data analytics in the energy sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.28% from 2021 to 2026. As such, energy companies that don’t embrace hard data now, and in the future, will lose out to the competition.
In analysing consumption patterns, suppliers can bridge the gap between customer experience and expectation by creating competitive offers in the face of Europe’s energy crisis.
Through data-driven personalisation, energy suppliers can tap into the various stages of the customer journey and create value that not only attract new customers, but enables them to visualise the benefits over the longer-term. Integrating this type of personalisation into the customer journey creates a positive experience, makes a lasting impression, and drives customer advocacy.
In striving to gather information on every customer contact, suppliers can generate an overarching customer viewpoint, helping companies better understand the needs of energy users. This data can then be benchmarked against previous quarters to identify factors that drive customer interest and satisfaction.
For example, at triPica, we’ve been working with German energy company, Enercity, building a completely new digital sales platform. We helped them achieve their goal of having the most comfortable digital sales capabilities in comparison with their competition. We reduced their cost-to-acquire by 50%, reduced their churn-rate by 67%, and reduced their cost-to-serve by 60%.
Respond quickly to energy sector events
In today’s volatile energy market, it can pay to respond quickly to events. Not only does being the first help build trust, it also enables companies to capitalise and gain new customers.
According to a recent survey from Forbes, 50% of internet users hear the latest news from social media. So, energy suppliers should use their social platforms to release public statements in response to events that impact energy users.
Similarly, energy sector events present suppliers with the opportunity to create trigger emails that provide updates, advice, and offers. According to customer data platform, Blueshift, trigger emails have a 468% higher click rate than batch emails, and a 525% higher conversion rate.
By using trigger-based marketing, energy companies can tailor information to customers based on their particular circumstances. For example, if a customer is browsing the tariff pages of a supplier’s website, an automated message can encourage the customer to take a short survey to find the best deal for their situation.
Evaluate company branding
With energy prices rising all across Europe, the key to standing out as an energy supplier is brand transparency. PR firm, Trust Barometer report reveals that 81% of consumers say they need to be able to trust a brand before they buy from them.
As such, customers appreciate when energy companies are open and honest about events and situations, and are more likely to trust them if they have a reputable brand that aligns with their own values.
According to Stackla’s Consumer Content Report, 86% of consumers say that authenticity is key when deciding what brands to support. Energy companies should evaluate how they’re perceived in the energy sector and consider their positioning among competitors.
In this age of authenticity, energy suppliers need to carefully consider who they are and what they stand for. Nowadays, people are becoming increasingly aware of how a brand’s reputation reflects on them as consumers, and energy suppliers needs to consider their stance on current issues.
According to PWC’s Experience report, most consumers want brands to take a social or political stand on issues. Two-thirds (64%) of consumers say they would buy from a brand, or boycott because of its social or political positions.
Offer Energy personalisation
According to McKinsey, 74% of customers find mass marketing frustrating. Chain emails and nationwide mailouts are far less common than they used to be. Developments in online advertising now sees consumers being targeted with personal adverts based on their recent searches.
Energy companies should use this type of personalisation to their advantage and aim to make a connection with customers by targeting their interests.
For example, energy suppliers can use housing data to target online campaigns at households that are likely to have large energy bills. In turn, suppliers can encourage users to explore their tariffs and provide special offers for switching.
Energy personalisation can also be used to attract new customers by providing them with unique insights into their energy usage. According to research from Utility Dive, 63% of energy consumers say that real-time energy usage is an interesting factor. Likewise, more than 75% of Millennials are interested in home energy reports and receiving data-powered savings suggestions via mobile app.
Reduce the barriers to switching
When it comes to onboarding new customers, suppliers should aim to make the process as simple as possible. In reducing the barriers to switching, companies can take advantage of initial customer interest and fast-track their account setups.
To make the onboarding process seamless, suppliers should consider allowing consumers to sign up with estimated figures, instead of delaying the process until they have actual meter readings.
Similarly, suppliers should make their tariff options clear from the beginning, including any special offers or means-tested tariffs, so that customers can see any savings they’d be making up-front.
In today’s volatile market, suppliers would also do well to provide reassurances by offering fixed price deals for a period of time. Even if cost-savings can’t be made, consumers still value the consistency and predictability that comes with fixed pricing.
How triPica can help energy suppliers stand out in today’s marketplace
At triPica, we help energy suppliers reinvent their business model through our customer-centric SaaS platform. It’s the perfect option for utility companies that are looking to attract new customers and differentiate themselves by offering a better customer experience.
As the only cloud-native “grid-to-cash” software on the market, triPica enables energy suppliers to:
• Reduce operational costs with fully automated market communication with the DSO grid
• Reduce the cost-to-serve thanks to a powerful agent tool and front-end SDK
• Leverage smart meters to handle dynamic pricing thanks to our real-time micro-service architected platform
• Manage bad debt with an advanced dunning process and scoring KPIs
Find out more about how triPica can help your company be more customer-centric with our ERP platform technology.
triPica, a rewarded innovation leader, enables our service providers worldwide in the Telco and the Utility industries to launch their digital strategy with the agility of a startup. Benefiting from our digital and secure SaaS BSS solution - from self-care online subscription to product and customer management - the customers are able to give autonomy and transparency to their users that the market today demands. triPica was established in 2016 and today serves customers globally in the Telecom and the Utility industries.