Utilities Expertise

Reducing churn through understanding its causes and through designing consumer centric services

In the age of competition, it has been made easier for customers to easily search for, and switch, providers.  This worries the utilities; how do we retain customers?

Customer Churn

Customers switching providers is deemed normal in the industry, with senior managers calling it ‘churn’.

The first question when understanding customer churn is always – “is it predictable?”.  If it is (it always is) it has been designed into the organisation through the current management assumptions, therefore the organisation has to design churn out, and so retain customers. Bingo!

Churn is a symptom

In utilities when customers do not get a service response that meets what matters to them, their ‘nominal value’, they will churn, or not make full use of the services they have bought.  The reason is simple: different things matter to different people; if the organisation fails to deliver against those things, customers go elsewhere. It is the variety problem.

The problem facing the utilities sector is how to improve service to customers; churn is simply one of the most visible symptoms.  What is important is understanding and delivering what matters to utility customers, perfectly.

Our utilities sector clients’ have been transformed through the application of the Vanguard Method; all have massive improvements in service and efficiency.

Typically, our clients have:
  • achieved big leaps in Net Promoter Scores
  • reduced call volumes
  • reduced failure demand by over 50%
  • through reducing failure demand, reduced their number of Contact Centres
  • moved to the top of the tables for customer service scores
  • moved to the top of the tables for resolving customer complaints
  • removed customer complaints backlogs
  • received a return of 1:12 on their spend with Vanguard
  • won awards for their innovations in service
  • enabled customers to swap as easily as possible
  • fixed faults within 2 hrs rather than it taking days
  • increased delivery vs commitment for customers moving home

Learn more about our work in utilities

An example of utility billing problems