I recently blogged a question – will the Big 6 still be around in 2020? I always think that it is specific questions like this that lead to action, rather than strategic visions and other jargon. If – as predicted by analysts – the UK utility market changes over the next five years so the Big 6 control two-thirds of the market rather than 92% then that could lead to a serious market shake-up.
Perhaps one of more of those brands will not survive such a change? What better market environment is there to consider the kind of actions that might prevent these predictions becoming inevitable?
The first question to ask is why many customers are starting to explore the smaller players? Price is the most obvious driver. Everyone wants to get a better deal on his or her bills, but beyond price alone the reason that keeps on being mentioned is customer service. Undoubtedly the search for a better customer experience from the major utility companies is also a key driver.and they are voting with their feet.
It should be easier for the incumbent companies, with an existing customer base, to maintain that group of customers than for the challenger companies to win new business, but they need to be putting these two key issues at the forefront of their strategy. First, they can compete on price and second, are they can offer a customer experience they can be proud of and that makes their customers recommend their service to friends and family.
There is not much time left and the time to act is now. Implementing a turnaround strategy takes time and customers are impatient. I do expect the Big 6 members who are still thriving in five years will be the ones who started planning for a better customer experience today.
What do you think about the importance of customer service to the big utilities? Leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.
Photo by Nick Page licensed under Creative Commons