How many people do you think switched energy supplier each month in 2020?
It may come as a surprise, but almost half a million customers switched energy suppliers each month last year.
On average, 496,127 customers found a reason to switch energy suppliers every single month.
But why are so many customers switching energy suppliers?
Well, there are a lot of reasons for this new trend. Switching has become a lot easier in the energy market, especially with an increase of smaller, independent suppliers entering the market.
The amount of switching is amazing news for these independent suppliers, who can offer cheaper deals, more eco-friendly contracts and a whole range of incentives to compete with the ‘Big 6’.
So, what exactly is it that is making customers switch so often? Let’s jump right in and explore this new trend.
Suppliers Offering Cheaper Rates
Of course, most customers will look for the cheapest rates first.
However, customers should be warned that going for the cheapest supplier isn’t always the best option.
Many of the newer energy suppliers will offer tariffs that are a lot cheaper than the competition, only to increase their customer base. These suppliers who offer incredibly low contracts will often find themselves in trouble, eventually going bust.
Having these low-priced contracts are fantastic at attracting new customers. Who could blame someone for picking the cheapest price? Unfortunately, many of these companies don’t have the correct infrastructure for the new influx of customers, which means the consumers will have to look elsewhere pretty soon.
On the other hand, there are plenty of energy suppliers that offer cheaper energy deals and can provide a sustainable service to their customers. Thanks to the recent introduction of the energy price cap, many smaller companies can offer cheaper tariffs.
Many customers don’t realise that they could be saving a lot of money by switching to a cheaper deal. If you’re fed up with paying expensive energy bills, you could easily save up to hundreds of pounds each year by switching to a new supplier.
Just be careful about which company you pick. We are seeing a huge increase in the number of cheaper tariffs, with companies battling to stand out from their rival energy suppliers. They need to do more than just offer cheap deals.
Suppliers Becoming More Environmentally Friendly
So, now that we know going for the cheapest energy suppliers isn’t always a wise decision, what else do customers want from their energy supplier?
Many energy suppliers are becoming more environmentally friendly, which is important to many customers. The UK government is aiming to be Net Zero by 2050, reducing the nations carbon output and carbon footprint.
We are seeing a rise in the popularity of ‘green tariffs’ that offer customers renewable energy. Some of the ‘Big 6’ are offering 100% renewable energy, which for business customers can reduce their carbon footprint.
There has been an increase in the production of wind, solar and hydro energy, with the larger companies spending millions of pounds investing into the latest technology to improve their renewable energy.
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Suppliers Listening To Customers And Caring For Their Needs
We know that cheaper prices and looking after the environment is important for customers, but what else do they look for?
Well, how about suppliers that genuinely care about their customers and listen to feedback?
That is super important.
When it comes to caring for customers, the independent suppliers take centre stage. By having fewer customer’s, they can offer a more tailored experience for customer than the bigger companies.
With the larger energy companies, they cannot listen to each customer to make changes. With smaller, independent suppliers, they can spend a little more time with each customer.
However, what the ‘Big 6’ have done incredibly well is evolving. They have become not just an energy supplier, but a whole force that can help with all areas of services.
Whether it is electric cards, smart products or insurance, by having other sectors all in one place, the customer doesn’t have to go far to sort other problems. Having everything in one place makes the customer experience a lot smoother and more stress-free.
Suppliers That Use Simplified Technology That Offers Convenience
Having the latest technology is important for many customers.
To be able to manage energy usage on the go, as well as monitoring their spending is interesting to many.
Energy suppliers that offer online billing portals, mobile applications and smart technology give the customer a new way to keep on top of their energy and allow them to communicate with providers a lot easier.
Suppliers That Are Trusted And Reputable
When buying products online, do you check for customer reviews?
Many customers do the same when shopping for energy.
Having confidence that you’re about to use a reputable company is important for many customers. The better the reviews, the more likely a customer is to use that supplier.
Websites like Trustpilot are becoming more and more important when it comes to deciding which energy supplier to use. Just look at one of the bigger energy companies. There are hundreds of reviews online, many of which are bad.
Do you think a new customer will ignore these?
Of course not.
This is especially important in smaller energy companies. At the moment, they aren’t as trusted as the larger companies due to many going bust. If they have an excellent rating, with lots of customers leaving positive reviews, it will only increase sales.
So, having a trustworthy and reputable brand is key for customers.
Suppliers Boasting Elite Customer Service
Yes, listening to customers is important. Now we need to add elite customer service to this list.
We have found shocking statistics from the bigger energy companies when it comes to customer satisfaction surveys. Independent energy suppliers usually come out on top. Even in 2021, this trend is continuing each year.
The ‘Which? Energy Companies Satisfaction Survey 2021′ placed independent energy suppliers as the top-rated companies, with the ‘Big 6’ taking the bottom positions.
With more and more companies entering the energy market, smaller energy suppliers have the opportunity to offer better customer service than the bigger energy companies. Trust us when we say this, good customer service is just as important as the price.
If you are on a cheap tariff, but something goes wrong with your supply and you cannot reach out through a good customer service team, you could be without energy for long periods.
Sometimes, it is worth paying that little bit extra to secure a dedicated team of customer service experts that are there to help you with any issues or queries you have. Check online reviews to see which companies are rated the highest.
According to SuperOffice, when 1,920 people were asked what the number one priority is for the next 5 years, the answer was customer experience.
Energy suppliers that go the extra mile for their customers will always perform better when it comes to retention. This is especially important in the energy sector. Customers are far more likely to stick around if the customer service is good.
It is even a bonus for these companies to focus on customer service as it is a lot cheaper to improve their customer journey than it is to market for new customers.
With the increase in smaller energy companies topping the customer satisfaction charts, will we see the ‘Big 6’ improve their customer service? Or will they refuse to change and continue to feature at the bottom of the list?
We’d suggest that improving response and complaint handling times, responding to more customer queries, changing billing and reporting to be more efficient and training staff to be more effective could be the future of increasing customers in the energy market.
Suppliers Who Make Switching Simple And Easy
As stated earlier, switching energy suppliers is common in the UK.
The suppliers that make switching simple and easy are what customers want. They don’t want to be waiting around for weeks and weeks to switch suppliers. They want the process to be quick and easy, without huge delays and stress.
Switching is a lot easier these days, with 2019 being a record-breaking year for switching energy supplier with almost 6.4 million switches made.
Energy suppliers that can make the switching process easy will stand out from the large crowd of competitors.
Suppliers Giving Added Benefits And Incentives
Who doesn’t love added benefits and incentives?
If a company offers gifts and rewards if you use their brand, customers are a lot more likely to choose them. With more and more energy suppliers in the energy sector being added each year, this is a way to attract more customers.
Many energy suppliers offer referral schemes that can save their customers money, or add perks and rewards to make them more likely to spread the word of their company.
This method has grown in popularity in the energy industry. On TV and social media, there has been an increase in advertisements of energy companies offering these incentives to use their brand.
It is a win-win situation for these companies and customers. Companies could gain more customers, with the customers getting a little reward.