Operators in the energy and utilities sector face a “perfect storm” of challenges. Heightened regulation, increased competition from new entrants and the imperative to treat customers fairly all mean that suppliers have to become smarter in how they operate.
While the needs of the consumer energy and utility users have been intensively researched, many suppliers still have substantial gaps in their knowledge when it comes to business markets.
B2B International has a dedicated energy and utilities research team, specialising in better understanding energy and utility buyers.
Receiving and paying the bill is often the sum total of many B2B buyers’ experience with retail suppliers. However, lying behind this apparently simple relationship are complex trading arrangements, pricing mechanisms and distribution networks.
B2B International understands this from our deep experience across the entire energy and utilities value chain – from generators and distribution network operators, through to energy brokers and end users.
Below, we summarise just some of the specific markets we have researched:
Large, I&C energy users
Users of half-hourly (HH) electricity meters, large gas users and those on flexible energy purchasing arrangements
Topics covered include: Energy efficiency services, impact of non-supply charges, micro- and on-site generation, energy supply and performance contracting
SME energy users
Smaller business users of energy – including SoHos and those operating from home premises
Topics covered include: Customer journey and service design, loyalty and churn research, brand tracking, pricing, market opportunities for non-supply propositions, the role of brokers
Industrial and B2B water users
B2B water users – ranging from process industries through to small businesses
Topics covered include: Customer service and problem resolution, bill design, expected impact of market de-regulation
LPG, LNG, Bulk and Cylinder Gas
Carbon-intensive energy generators
Energy markets and trading
We Can Reach And Engage The Target Audience
We know that energy and utilities isn’t top of the agenda for many businesspeople: Our in-house fieldwork teams are the best in the industry at getting B2B decision-makers to “open up”.
We Understand The Complexity Of Your Industry
We are very familiar with the dynamics of utilities and energy markets and so can “hit the ground running” without needing to be briefed on terminology or other fundamentals.
Best Practice From Across Industry Verticals
Because we work across many industries, we can advise on best practices from other sectors – for instance, how digital servicing models have been implemented in other markets.
We deliver utility and energy market research studies that are tailored for your organisation’s needs. We don’t produce off-the-shelf reports that your competitors can benefit from, giving you maximum competitive advantage.
Below we summarise some examples of the types of studies we undertake:
Customer satisfaction and retention research
Fixing the “leaky bucket” and reducing churn through improved customer experience is almost always less than the cost of new acquisition – particularly in business markets. We can help you to identify the parts of the customer experience that need addressing most.
Understanding the customer journey
How do buyers choose a supplier? How would customers prefer to be served – on the phone, online or through a broker? What problems arise when customers are “on-boarded” as a new customer? We can help with specific questions like these through “deep-dives” into specific parts of your customer journey.
B2B customer segmentation and value management
Business customers are as diverse as consumers – yet relatively few energy and utility suppliers have implemented a sophisticated segmentation strategy. We can assist you to identify and implement a segmentation framework that helps you to unlock latent customer value, while being practical to implement.
Exploring new, non-supply propositions
As basic supply of energy and utilities becomes more commoditised and subject to the vagaries of the market, suppliers are looking to diversify into new or adjacent offerings. We can help by assessing businesses’ appetite for new solutions such as energy auditing, re-fits and energy management.
Effective research begins with speaking to the correct people. As a B2B research specialist, accessing relevant, decision-making target audiences is our forte. Below are just some of the audiences we can help you to reach:
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