Why energy retailers need to be proactive with their customer experience

Energy retailers who provide proactive customer experience can greatly improve customer retention rates.

For most companies, customer service tends to be a reactive and passive response to enquiries and complaints. Reacting to customer needs in a quick and efficient manner is an essential element of providing good customer service. Yet it only goes so far.

For every frustrated or dissatisfied customer who complains there’s likely to be 10 who do not complain. Most of those who do not complain will simply leave and switch providers. Each of those silent customers who do not complain are still likely to tell 6 – 10 people they know. By delivering proactive customer experiences energy retailers can ensure all their customers receive an adequate level of service and support.

Proactive customer service is about identifying and resolving customer issues before they become a problem. It’s doing something or offering something of value for your customers before they know they need it. An example would be an energy retailer contacting customers after a higher than usual bill and explaining to them how they could smooth out their payments and help identify appliances that may have caused the high bill.

Customers trust proactive companies

Customers trust companies that show they care over ones that only contact them to sell them something or to fix an issue. A survey by inContact revealed that 87% of customers surveyed wanted to be contacted proactively when it came to customer service issues. 73% who had been contacted proactively and had a positive experience said that it encouraged a positive change in their perception of the brand that contacted them.

It’s been reported that proactive customer service can often lead to an increase in customer retention by 3 – 8%.

Not only can does being proactive improve customer service and retention, it can significantly lower operation costs. Happy customers are cheaper to service, complain less and cost less to compensate.

 How AI and churn analytics can help

To deliver proactive support, you must know your customers and what drives them. Calling every customer to find out what their issues are, is likely to be too expensive and time consuming. This is where AI and big data analytics can help. Advanced AI and churn analytics are redefining the relationship between energy companies and their customers.

Energy retailers have access to enormous amounts of customer data. By leveraging this data effectively, innovative and strategic thinking energy retailers can take advantage of significant opportunities to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market. They can use the information to predict individual consumer behaviour, such as customer churn, and then make personalised and targeted offers, thus maximising their profit from each customer.

If you need help to get the most value from your customer data please contact Libby Dale [email protected].

Read our article Why AI and Customer Churn Analytics is a game changer for energy retailers