Only 33% of consumers compare utilities providers – VoC insights for energy, gas and telecommunications
Marketing Mag has teamed up with Dynata to deliver key insights into the way customers prefer to choose and communicate with utilities providers.
The fifth in the ‘2018/19 Voice of Industry Series Australia and New Zealand’, Marketing and Dynata (Research Now SSI) are bringing you industry specific Voice-of-Customer survey results focusing on the utilities sector.
In a survey of 1600 people, the report found that there is still some confusion around product differentiation between the various utilities providers and how these products are priced — something that is deterring consumers from comparing similar products.
While this article references only on the Australian results, the findings from New Zealand are similar.
When it comes to receiving and reading bills, a clear majority showed a preference for online desktop (43%). Interestingly, online mobile was the most popular option for those aged 18-34 (37%) and the least popular for those aged 45 and over (8%).
There were similar results when it came to payment preferences with 36% of the respondents citing online desktop as their preferred method to pay bills. This was followed closely by direct debit (32%).
In terms of understanding bills, there appears to be some confusion within the market. When asked to rate their understanding of pricing information, only 41% of respondents had a ‘very clear’ or ‘extremely clear’ understanding. The survey found similar results when it came to respondents’ understanding of meter reading and volume information and how discounts schemes work.
There is also a lack of understanding when it comes to product differentiation between providers, according to the results. When asked if they found it difficult to compare offers from competing utilities providers, 66% of respondents answered in the affirmative. This could be one reason only 33% of respondents said they often or always compared offers between providers. When it came to comparing different offers, the most popular resource is consumer websites (56%), while vendor websites (35%) proved marginally more popular than word-of-mouth recommendations (34%).
When it comes to choosing a utilities provider, 73% of respondents stated pricing as one of the most important considerations. Following this was whether a provider supports a good cause (18%) and whether it was environmentally sustainable (8%).
To see a more in depth exploration of how customers in Australia and New Zealand choose, interact and communicate with their utility providers, download the free white paper today »