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More consumers opt for ethical service providers

From the Knowledge Centre

More than one in 10 consumers say they are increasingly likely to switch their business to a service provider which is viewed as more “ethical” than its competitors, according to our new research....

Whether it’s implementing a green policy or being known as a fair employer, companies with a better public image are increasingly finding themselves ahead of the competition, including those who are offering the cheapest deals.

The findings, part of our recent research report, reveal that customers are becoming increasingly aware of the reputation of the businesses they spend money with, and are giving more weight to corporate social responsibility when choosing a supplier – with 12% saying this would be the main issue when evaluating a provider.

Another 16% say they would switch providers if their current supplier became involved in a public scandal, like being exposed for poor customer service for example, or instances similar to the 2015 emissions scandal at Volkswagen.

Our report shows that companies must think harder about how they will retain or gain customers, beyond just offering cheaper tariffs or deals.

Among the other reasons for consumers to switch providers, 33% said they would change suppliers as a protest against poor customer service, 18% would switch as a reaction to poor handling of a claim and 20% would switch if acting on the advice of experts in the media.

Price, of course, remains a motivating factor for the majority of consumers, and 61% would switch to avoid a price increase, while 36% review their bills and providers when household budgets get tight.

“Price will always be a big factor for consumers when it comes to picking a service provider but modern customers are now looking much harder at the businesses they are giving their money to."

Monica Mackintosh, customer services director, Echo Managed Services

In addition, a third (33%) of consumers now review their bills and service providers on an annual basis.

“We know from our customers that they’re not just switching to us because we’re competitive. It’s also because we’ll use our profits to make a positive difference in our founding city. “More and more people want to know that their money is going. And they want it to do something good. There’s been a lack of trust in the energy sector for too long. At Bristol Energy, we have an opportunity to win that back, and make our customers proud to be with us.”

Peter Haigh, managing director, Bristol Energy

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