After reporting back in April that the deregulation of the UK water services could see a spike in demand for face to face field marketing, Credico UK has responded to claims customers aren’t being fully supported or educated on the opportunity to switch suppliers, with water services seeing a rise in complaints as a result.
In a landmark ruling in 2008, Scotland became the first country in the UK to allow consumers to choose their water supplier. This move saw extensive improvements in efficiency and customer satisfaction and was a driving force behind opening up the water market to consumers in England. However, while the decision to open the market up to household consumers has been pushed back, business consumers across England have been freed from regional monopolies and allowed to access services that better fit their needs.
For this restructuring to work, back in April Credico UK noted that businesses would require extra support to ensure they choose a supplier that is not only the best value for money but that is willing to tailor a service that best fits their needs. With deregulation offering the opportunity to bring more trust and transparency to the water industry, Credico UK was adamant that water suppliers would need to go the extra mile to offer support and build relationships. Through the firm’s experience as a leading force in the field marketing sector, Credico UK felt that meeting face to face was the most effective strategy for water services to create and nurture relationships with businesses in response to market deregulation.
However, recent research has uncovered considerable dissatisfaction around the opportunity to switch and the understanding of the savings that are being offered.
Complaints from business customers, such as shops, petrol stations, and SMEs has steadily risen over the past six months. The Consumer Council for Water reports that in the three months up to September 2017, 559 complaints had been made to the council about water suppliers by businesses. Experts are concerned that the exact number of complaints could be much higher, however, as many complaints would not have been escalated and would have been dealt with directly with the supplier concerned.
In response, Credico UK is standing by its belief that face to face customer interaction will be a key channel to market, and help businesses fully understand the options available to them.
‘The freedom to choose water supplier may be fantastic in theory, but navigating this new responsibility can be overwhelming to businesses. They want clear facts on the savings they could make, therefore having educated and passionate people on the ground, communicating in person with them is crucial.’ Stated a spokesperson for Credico UK. ‘With plans to roll out deregulation to household consumers due to be revisited at the end of the year, we foresee a significant increase in field marketing within the water sector.’