Case Study Telecommunications & Utilities

Protecting share by prioritizing the B2B customer experience

The utilities sector has always faced challenges including regulatory requirements, deregulation, cost management and infrastructure development. More recently, the sector has seen shifting customer expectations for sustainable energy products, reliability, improved service, quicker response, channel access and digital experiences. While many utility organizations traditionally held strong monopolies, competitive alternatives have been emerging from non-traditional market entrants.


Client Background

As the primary service provider of business-to-business (B2B) energy management, distribution, and delivery services, the Client was not facing imminent customer attrition issues but sought to prepare for a more competitive environment by understanding their customers more effectively. Their goal was to be more connected to their customers and establish clear priorities for customer experience change that would have the greatest impact in building authentic customer loyalty.

They sought to:

  • Better understand how much customer experience mattered for B2B customers in the category
  • Understand the core drivers of customer loyalty and customer satisfaction that matter most to their B2B customers
  • Learn to measure loyalty in the absence of customer choice

How We Helped

The Client and The Verde Group partnered to conduct “Voice of Customer (VOC)” analysis to establish a baseline and clear priorities for customer experience improvements. The Revenue@Risk® customer experience diagnostic quantified the specific customer experiences most influential to customer loyalty and most impactful to ROI. In particular, the work analyzed drivers of dissatisfaction, recognizing that customers are much more likely to act on negative emotions than on positive ones.

how we helped

Our Revenue at Risk Solution

Revenue@Risk® analysis is a unique, proprietary analytic methodology that quantifies the financial impact of customer problems to answer these key business questions:

  • Which experiences matter most to the recurring revenue and profit potential of my business?
  • Which CX moments of truth are causing the greatest risk to my top line?
  • What specific CX actions should I prioritize to improve my market share?

The Verde Group analysis was conducted across key customer journeys and analyzed the impact of problem experiences. Both qualitative and quantitative analysis occurred for the Client. Quantitative research was conducted by telephone amongst close to 500 B2B customers including key accounts.

Key Insights

  • Most B2B customers exhibited positive attitudes toward the utility

    Key account customers were more positive than corporate accounts, potentially reflecting the Client’s account management model was effective in prioritizing and servicing the most critical accounts. However, while most customers were promoters of the brand, they did not feel that working with the Client improved their business. This represented an opportunity for the Client.
  • About 50% of B2B customers had experienced a problem with the utility

    Those experiencing problems were half as loyal to the brand as those who did not experience problems. For those B2B customers who experienced problems that were resolved by contacting the Client, their loyalty to the brand was highest amongst all customers. However only half of those who experienced a problem felt that it had been effectively resolved.
  • Two key problem areas accounted for over 75% of the Client’s aggregate loyalty risk

    They were rewards and recognition issues and rates. Surprisingly, outage issues did not have a significant impact on customer loyalty. The most damaging problems were:
    • The Client does not recognize or reward me for the amount of business I do with them.
    • The Client does not recognize and reward me for my tenure as a customer.
    • The Client does not recognize and reward me for reducing my energy consumption.
    • The Client does not offer rate options that fit my company’s needs.

key insights

Impact and Outcomes

Together, The Verde Group and the Client completed detailed action planning virtually to determine and agree on the most significant priorities to address the most damaging problems impacting loyalty. They aligned on three key areas of opportunity:

Become a Better Energy Partner to B2B Customers by Increasing the Effort and Communication Around Rates

  • In addition to customization for their rate and rebate programs, the Client also realized that they needed to better communicate their efforts and commitment to rate control for their B2B customers to demonstrate commitment to rate management. This drove a revised communication strategy across channels and modified the training/coaching of account reps.

Reward and Recognize Customers to Thank Them for Their Loyalty

  • While the Client had reward and recognition programs, they committed to taking a more purposeful approach to their reward and recognition strategy, using the data from the survey to begin to better inform customer needs.

Increase Proactive Customer Contact with B2B Customers

  • Recognizing that B2B customers who did not experience problems are more loyal than those who did, the Client prioritized issue and service management to help customers avoid problems and ensure the appropriate level of support was available.

Discover how partnering with The Verde Group can benefit your business.