What utilities do wrong in their customer communication?
Changing utility providers is for some customers a yearly “obligatory”. They are looking for the best deals and do everything to get them – which normally means changing their provider. This means that utilities from their side will have to check accountability of these new customers continuously. How high is the risk that something goes wrong?
According to Eurostat, an average of 33% of household expenditure is spent on utility bills and housing. This is a significant amount of the total budget, which means that the chance that a customer cannot afford the bill increases. Studies have shown that 1/3 of households in Europe cannot afford unexpected expenditures already since 2007, which has not improved after the crisis until now. Of these unexpected expenditures, an amount of 7% is for utilities.
As shown on the map in the infographic, it is clear that a lot of customers in the European Union have a high percentage of arrears on utility bills. 9.9% of the population in the EU cannot afford their utility bills at one point, which means that there are around 35,497,000 citizens in debt. The lowest percentage is 2.3% in the Netherlands and the highest is 31.8% in Greece, but most of the countries have a 5% or higher amount of arrears. Overall this means the market is very risky at the moment.
Utility providers give a lot of control away to external parties. Reliability checks are often done by data check offices, who will check the accountability of the customer, his or her history, where he or she lives and further personal details. The utility provider will get a clear picture of the prospect customer when everything seems to be alright and will get in contract with him or her. When it occurs that the customer cannot afford the bills, a collection agency will come into play. Many steps and secondary partners result in more time consumption and a higher possibility on flaws.
So why not check it yourself? It will save a lot of time, costs and you know who you are dealing with without any external sources and at no extra costs. Be in control, have a single view of your customer. Do the check on the bottom of the infographic and see what you can do!