Identifying consumer vulnerability

What does the UK Energy Crisis mean for Utility Brands and how can they protect their consumers?

Over the past two weeks, news of an Energy Crisis in the UK has built concern for utility brands and consumers. This crisis maps out an increase in wholesale energy prices meaning greater pressure on smaller utility brands (those prioritising greener energy and localism) and consequently greater energy bills for consumers. These soaring prices will undoubtedly see a rise in inflation, ultimately making the cost of living that bit more expensive for most households in the UK, making data quality and identifying vulnerable consumers an essential part of any Utility Brands communication.

At least 6 suppliers have already decided to exit the UK market amid threats of rising wholesale prices, leaving at least 835,000 households open to new suppliers. Ofgem have ensured that these households will be protected by energy price caps, yet new suppliers must ensure these consumer records are accurate. Establishing a trusted and seamless relationship from the get-go.

How can Utility Brands Secure Customer Loyalty?

According to the energy regulator Ofgem, energy bills are estimated to rise between 12-43% from October. Customers want to know that their provider is doing everything possible to protect their data. This means keeping data clean and up to date for marketing communication needs to be timely, informative, and accurate.

The importance of having an up-to-date database will allow utility brands to contact consumers at the correct address with information regarding their personal tariff, utility bills and changes to energy prices. Ensuring consumer wellbeing is central to the marketing strategy over the coming months. Having up to date gives you a much better understanding of the way your customer behaves.

Overall, if you want to increase your customer base and establish a sense of trust and transparency between your brand and your customer, you need to do everything you can to optimize your communications and, having accurate customer data will improve your marketing strategy while building trust and loyalty.

What can Utility Brands do to Identify Vulnerable Consumers?

The cherry on the top for lower-income households will be the latest government proposal to increase National Insurance payments and decrease Universal Credit. Utility brands, therefore, need to prioritise identifying vulnerable consumers and those most likely to struggle with rising costs.

REaD Group’s Consumer Vulnerability Score Model can identify these consumers, helping brands tailor their communications, and helping with debt ratio, identifying potential problems for consumers before major issues occur. It also allows utility brands to tailor home visits, and maintenance management to suit consumer needs, avoiding costly reputational damage, adhering to best practice guidelines and ultimately, protecting the consumer’s wellbeing.

For more information on our utility specific data products go to our

Utility Sector Page

Or request more information on our Consumer Vulnerability Score Model

by going to our Contact Page

7 Key Principles:

GDPR introduced 7 key principles for the lawful processing of personal data. This refers to the collection, organisation, structuring, storage, use, communication and the life span of personal data. These principles are at the centre of compliant processing, an essential part of GDPR to be followed by brands and organisations:

  • Lawfulness, Fairness and Transparency:

(a) processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to individuals (‘lawfulness, fairness and transparency’).

  • Purpose Limitation:

b) collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes; further processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes shall not be considered to be incompatible with the initial purposes (‘purpose limitation’).

  • Accountability:

(c) adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed (‘data minimisation’).

  • Data Minimisation:

(d) accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay (‘accuracy’).

  • Storage Limitation:

(e) kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed; personal data may be stored for longer periods insofar as the personal data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes subject to implementation of the appropriate technical and organisational measures required by the GDPR in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of individuals (‘storage limitation’).

  • Integrity and confidentiality (security):

(f) processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures (‘integrity and confidentiality’).

View our privacy policy here – Privacy policy – Data privacy policy for REaD Group

 

REaD Group presents our unique Switcher model

Built using the most accurate and comprehensive consumer data universe in the UK

 

REaD Group’s Switcher model allows the segmentation of a customer database to identify the propensity or an individual or household to switch from their existing provider.

Ideal for utilities and telecoms companies, our Switcher model offers a unique solution for both acquisition and retention, which also includes selection for channel preference to further improve your campaign performance. In addition bespoke model refinement can be conducted by REaD Group utilising client data to enhance model performance.

REaD Group hold the most comprehensive, clean, accurate and responsive permissioned consumer marketing data available in the UK. Apply this data to drive your acquisition and retention strategies.

REaD Prospect – we can create the perfect prospect pool using our unique set of variables, combining data from a wide variety of trusted sources including demographics, property details, interests and attitudinal data.

REaD Enhance – we can tell you more about your customers than any other data company! Apply that knowledge to your customer base to ensure your communications are targeted, relevant and profitable.

Our data provides granular details at household and individual level to support acquisition and retention.

  • Propensity to switch
  • Loyalty indicators
  • Energy usage – gas and electricity
  • Household variables including house type and number of
    bedrooms
  • Household composition including presence of children
  • Demographics & lifestyle variables
  • Affluence markers

How many new customers will you find?
REaD Group Switcher model is available for immediate testing, contact us now to set up a trial

 

Email: phil.ward@readgroup.co.uk