Thanks to a dramatic surge in inflation, 2023 will be remembered for the sharpest drop in household incomes on record. Unfortunately they are unlikely to start rising again until inflation drops back down, which means this winter is going to be extremely tough for a lot of households across the UK. Purses are going to be feeling the pinch and even though energy prices have gone down, utility bills are still a major expenditure for most households. In this blog we take a look at how, by engaging with their customers this winter, energy and water suppliers can help support their customers by proactively helping them to reduce their bills. 

What can suppliers do? 

Increase engagement 

When it comes to customer engagement, quality and quantity are key. It’s all about enhancing the customer experience so customers feel like they have just as much to gain from engaging with your company and brand as you do by interacting with them. Find out more about how increasing engagement with customers can benefit customers and suppliers alike. 

Deliver communication through the right channels

Effective customer engagement is based on delivering appropriate messages via appropriate channels. There aren’t many industries where customers cover the entire scope of generations – from Generation Y digital natives that expect an efficient digital platform at their fingertips, to Baby Boomers and Traditionalists who may prefer written communications via post. Offering customers a choice as to how they receive communications and choose to engage with your company is essential to successful engagement.

Provide insightful/useful/actionable information 

Suppliers can motivate customers to reduce their consumption and therefore their bill by providing them with evidence and benchmarks relating to their water or energy usage. Advizzo helps utilities create a user-led customer experience by plugging in our APIs and combining it with multiple data sources such as metering, tariff, open-source or customers’ own input. We then help deliver a personalised online customer engagement experience based on an individual’s personal data. Using historical consumption alongside disaggregated usage data, we create and communicate tailored tips to help customers reduce their consumption, make changes at home and therefore optimise their bills and reduce their impact on the planet. A neighbour comparison widget has proven impact and has shown to help customers change towards more sustainable behaviours. Discover the benefits of a user led customer experience. 

Identify low income customers 

Relying on low income customers to voluntarily put themselves on the Priority Services Register or WaterSure escheme is not enough. Working closely with other data providers specialising in vulnerable data, Advizzo is perfectly positioned to help water and energy companies identify, target and engage with their vulnerable customers. 

At the heart of our solutions is data. We will use all data available to us, including data related to where customers live, whether they rent their accommodation, as well as their account information, to identify customers that are currently in debt or in danger of becoming in debt. The more data that’s available to us, the more information we can glean. Sending a personalised survey to potentially vulnerable customers is a very proactive step in supporting customers. We can tailor customer your surveys to ascertain who is vulnerable. Then we can send them personalised tips to help them lower consumption, as well as information on different tariffs, discounts, payment schemes and payment breaks, or by introducing them to support schemes and grants. Discover the importance of identifying low income customers. 

Improve product promotion efforts

There are plenty of products available that will help customers reduce their water and energy consumption, such as smart thermostats, energy storage systems (batteries), photovoltaic (PV) installations, electric vehicle charge points, efficient lighting systems, kitchen tap aerators, cistern displacement devices, and regulated showers heads, to name but a few. Discover how our behavioural science based customer engagement solutions can help you step up your product promotion efforts, to help customers reduce their consumption and their bills. 

How will you help your customers prepare for a more affordable winter during this cost of living crisis? Get in touch today to find out how our off the shelf solution can help you quickly connect with your customers and help them through the winter months.