As the energy market continues to become more liberalized, the intensifying competition between energy retailers causes an ongoing challenge to retain the customer base. Energy retailers are looking for new ways to attract and retain their non-household customers. The right tools and strategies can help them retain their clients and achieve customer loyalty.
If you are an energy retailer looking for innovative ways to retain your non-household customers, then you have landed in the right place. In this blog post, we will outline three innovative ways to retain enterprise customers.
At the times energy supply was a monopoly consumers were not considered to be a part of the energy market. With the start of liberalization, consumers have become game-changers for the energy market. The new ability to switch suppliers has been the most direct way for consumers to take part in the energy market and push the retailers to offer better prices, products, and services to their customers.
Compared to household consumers, the switching behavior of non-household consumers is more sensitive to market developments (e.g. prices) and available information¹. According to the Annual Report on the Results of Monitoring the Internal Electricity and Natural Gas Markets in 2020 produced by the EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) and the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER), retailer switching rates of non-household consumers is a major issue for energy retailers.
When these market dynamics are considered energy retailers are supposed to act in a more customer-centric manner and differentiate their products and services. In a market where competition is this fierce, competing only on price will not be adequate to retain customers and reduce churn rates.
Energy retailers should re-think customer journeys
The energy retailers should be effectively using the latest marketing tools, and customer journey mapping is one of them.
As purchasing behavior has evolved over the last decades, customer experience has become the leading factor in purchasing decisions. This also applies to enterprise energy consumers. When making their purchasing decisions, corporations pay attention not only to pricing but also to the extent to which their needs are met and what kind of experience they have in the service process.
It is important for energy retailers to understand the stages of their customers’ experience journey and highlight the critical points that result from churn. Customer experience journey mapping is a collective process that should be done with the participation of all teams from marketing to operations. One of the best ways to do this is by conducting surveys or in-depth interviews with your customers, mapping the whole process, highlighting every touchpoint, and defining internal team responsibilities.
Putting customer experience as a priority and re-designing your internal processes will result in customer-based differentiation in your energy services which will lead to reduced customer churns or even onboard new customers.
Become a digital-first energy retailer
Besides being customer-focused, the energy retailers of the future will need to be digitally powered and data-driven. As the energy retailers dive deep into their customer experiences they see that the expectations of customers from the retailer are more than receiving billing information only. Increasing customer expectations are pushing energy retailers to accelerate their digitalization process and give more options to their customers. Increasing levels of data-driven services create additional ways to inform consumers about the key properties of their energy consumption.
Creating an automated system that provides data analytics and real-time insights will empower the customer in their decision-making processes and focus on most strategic parts of their energy management.
Invest in renewable energy innovations
As more companies make net-zero pledges and environmental commitments, traditional energy retailers are challenged to change the way they do business. To meet the needs of companies with sustainability goals, energy retailers need to be ready with innovative products and services that support the goals of their customers.
Besides diversifying their products with renewable energy, energy retailers should expand beyond selling only electrons but offer innovative solutions to enable their customers to reach their sustainability goals.
Retailers first choose to prove the source of the energy they sell by using Energy Attribute Certificates (certificates such as IREC and GoO). However, certification systems do not provide the customer with anything other than a PDF stating that it is matched with renewable energy on a monthly basis. Unfortunately, all certification processes do not progress transparently.
Considering transparency is the major issue in matching with renewable energy, energy retailers need a more tamper-proof & transparent system to prove the source of the energy together with the authorized certification system.
Greenlink, a SaaS product of Blok-Z, is developed especially for energy retailers. Energy retailers can start presenting renewable energy tracking services to their customers by deploying Greenlink right away. With Greenlink energy retailers will be able to offer renewable energy matching services which will enable their customers to match their energy consumption with the selected renewable energy type locally and in real-time (24/7) by using blockchain technology.
This innovative technology will create a bidirectional value for both energy retailers and their customers with sustainability goals. While energy retailers will create a new revenue stream by deploying Greenlink Energy Tracking Software, they will also increase their retention rates by differentiating their services.
The changing face of the retail energy market will result in an increased focus on customer retention and loyalty. Energy retailers who develop tools and strategies for customer-centricity, digitalization and decarbonization not only retain but also attract new customers more easily
¹ Market Monitoring Report (MMR) by the EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) and the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER) in cooperation with the Energy Community.