At the DNV Energy Executive Forum in May, J.D. Power presented eye-opening data. In a nutshell, it demonstrates how sadly unsatisfied customers are with energy retailers. From my notes on customer satisfaction scores:
– Credit cards, banks and car rental companies have some of the highest average scores of 790 or above.
– Airlines and cable TV providers are down around 720. (And who likes their cable TV company?)
– Electric and gas utilities are about 670.
– And where do competitive energy retailers score? 632. Ouch.
Retailers in Texas, it should be noted, score considerably higher: 715. But that’s still worse than the airlines. (And how satisfying is air travel these days?)
In addition, if you think price is key, also consider this from J.D. Power: In its listing of 5 drivers of customer satisfaction in service industries, price ranked third. Yet in broad market studies, retention correlates most closely with customer satisfaction. So energy retailers that are trying to grow must think beyond price, to customer.
The conclusion can be simply stated: Retailers can differentiate by delivering a superior customer experience.
At a minimum, it’s nice to have our work at DR2 affirmed…