Rising utility prices have contributed to a dramatic rise in the number of consumers struggling to meet their utility repayments.
Recent reports state that consumer complaints to state Energy & Water Ombudsman are on the rise, but how are retailers navigating the complex challenges of balancing commercial objectives with regulatory requirements and social obligations?
In the lead up to the 3rd Annual Collections & Hardship Programs in Utilities conference we picked the brain of key speaker Toula Arronis, Customer Segmentation Access and Information Specialist at Sydney Water. We asked her a few questions related to the challenges, initiatives and the positive commercial impacts of customers requiring financial hardship support. Read on to see what insights she had to offer.
What are the challenges with identifying and engaging customers requiring hardship support?
Our research identified several common challenges across all segments which we have grouped into broad ‘themes’. These include:
What initiatives are you adopting to respond to these challenges? What trials and testing have you seen the best results from to date?
There are a number of recommendations and actions we will put in place across the organisation. Again, looking at broad themes we want to:
What are the positive commercial impacts that these initiatives are having (or will have) for the business?
Outcomes we would like to see include:
What are the key topics that you are looking forward to discussing with your peers at the conference?
I’m keen to expand my knowledge in the customer experience and customer engagement spaces, as this will continue to be a key focus for us this year. Also interested in online self-service portals, how successful these are, customer feedback, challenges etc.
Toula will be presenting at the Collections & Hardship Programs in Utilities Conference to be held on the 11-12 May at the Rydges Melbourne. For more information on the event click here