Key findings from 2008-2009 edition

The global recession is continuing to squeeze retail utilities across Europe, with many of them still struggling to secure the profit margins they require to sustain growth. Increasing competition, stimulated by deregulation in most European countries, and an increase in switching has driven up the Cost to Serve (CtS) and Cost to Acquire (CtA) a customer: �the average CtSand CtA are respectively 26.3€ and 93€ (considering the sample chosen for this survey). In several European countries for example, net margins for a full year of power delivery in the residential market sit at around 3% – which equates to around €10 to €25 per customer.

  • In this Retail Utility Benchmark study, Capgemini analyses in-depth the CtS and CtA strengths and weaknesses of 20 European retail utilities with between 100,000 and six million customers. The study is designed to provide companies in Europe with an insight into their current situation, a comparison with their European peers and an understanding of the strategies required to lower their CtS and CtA, in order to increase profitability.�

These include:

  • Optimising service centers’ agents’ time by lowering the customer contact ratio and reducing call handling time
  • Maximising call handling time by using inbound calls as proactive sales channels to drive customer acquisition
  • Analysing repeat calls to quickly spot a weak process – such as a billing issue – and eliminate it quickly and efficiently
  • Boosting use of web self-service to eliminate over-use of telephone which currently represents 75% of all customer service channels
  • Reducing agency (partnership and door to door) and outbound calls that do not result in a critical number of new contracts
  • Shifting the acquisition channel mix towards more dematerialized channels such as the internet