Utility Companies Should At Least Have The Energy To Get In Touch, Say Consumers

  • Third of consumers say communication is what they value most from energy firms

  • Half of us don't trust energy companies to tell us we could be getting a better deal

Communication from energy providers is more important to customers than the quality or range of products and services they offer, according to research released today by Callcredit Marketing Solutions. Almost a third (29%) of those asked said relevant communication was what they valued most from their provider.

With fuel prices rising, two fifths (41%) of those surveyed said they are having to cut back on the amount of gas and electricity they use around the home in order to avoid big bills. When asked what they value most about their providers, receiving relevant and regular information came third. Unsurprisingly, three quarters (75%) of respondents said that value for money was what they craved most, followed by customer service (46%).

Faith in energy companies to do the right thing is also low, with over half (51%) saying that they had little or no confidence that their energy company would let them know if they could be getting a fairer and cheaper deal on their bills. In this respect, energy firms fared much worse than other providers; 41% said the same about their mobile phone firm, and 39% about their savings provider.

The study, carried out by YouGov, asked 2500 people about their current financial attitudes and steps they are considering taking over the next few months. UK consumers appear to have abandoned their 'borrow now, pay later' attitude and are now committed to pulling themselves through their financial difficulties. 35% check their financial statements more carefully, while 22% have started a weekly or monthly budget.

Caroline Worboys, MD of Callcredit Marketing Solutions, comments:
"Energy bills are an accepted necessity for all of us, but times are tight and it's important that consumers feel that their providers have their best interests at heart. The fact that so many of us don't trust our providers is hugely telling and should serve as a warning sign to energy companies wanting to keep their customers loyal and happy.

"Communication is an important differentiator to people in the current climate; consumers need to know that companies are on their side and that they will let them know when and how they can help them keep their spending down."

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Notes to Editors:

About Callcredit Marketing Solutions (N.B Not to be confused with Callcredit referencing agency)
Callcredit Marketing Solutions (www.callcreditmarketing.com) designs and executes marketing programmes with measurable customer value as the starting point.

With marketing services from consumer data and contact centres to direct marketing and credit marketing, Callcredit Marketing Solutions helps clients gain greater knowledge of customers and prospects, as well as the best ways to engage with them. By transforming raw consumer data, into actionable customer insight, it helps clients maximise marketing budget while encouraging customers to buy more, do more and stay customers for longer - measurably improving return on investment.

Callcredit Marketing Solutions' service offering includes:

  • Real-time channel-rich customer interaction capabilities
  • Customer value strategy, planning and analysis
  • Customer database build and management
  • Data processing and enhancement

Consumer data assets including classifications, prospects and credit data supply Callcredit Marketing Solutions has its headquarters in Leeds with offices in Gerrards Cross and Bristol and is part of the Callcredit Information Group. Clients include BBC, COI, FT, HBOS, Learning and Skills Council, Marriott, News International, npower, NS&I, SCA, Wesleyan and Wickes.