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  • by Karma Loveday

Research finds small businesses need a new water retail proposition

A synthesis of customer evidence relating to the business retail market published by CCW and MOSL has identified the following areas for improvement:

Building awareness of the market in segments and regions where awareness is poorest – and communicating the benefits of engaging. What is the market strategy to build awareness?

Identifying why some regions / sectors achieve higher market engagement than others.

Improving billing service (as this is the biggest service disappointment) with improved transparency, simplicity and accuracy.

Identifying the root of market frictions at switching – for example, prohibitive penalties and automatic rollover (or improve customer understanding of what they are signing up for).

Retailer service levels generally – and data specifically. Improving customer understanding of retailer/wholesaler responsibilities and who to contact.

Introducing smart meters.

SMEs need a new proposition (a 2-5% cost incentive is not enough alone) – and what is the role of TPIs to create momentum?

The report drew on 20 pieces of research carried out since the market opened, looking at sources from the market and also related markets such as Scotland. It considered customers’ experiences and perceptions of the market and sought to identify examples of good practice, alongside evidence of barriers that are preventing customers from engaging in the market. The objectives were to inform the Strategic Panel’s work and CCW’s five-year review of the market.

The researcher, Blue Marble, noted: “ There are very few examples of best practice to draw on in the body of literature reviewed. Developing a better understanding of good practice through qualitative research and case studies would be a good first step to developing a stronger market proposition for businesses generally, and to support existing work by MOSL on personas and market segmentation.”


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