38% of those that have switched water supplier since the market was deregulated are from London, says Wheatley’s most recent research.
We polled 500 SMEs nationally in May 2017 and found that London tops the water switching SME poll. The next most active switching region was Yorkshire and the Humber accounting for 15% of all switching activity across England in April. These two regions combined with the West Midlands and South East regions, accounted for almost three quarters (73%) of all switching activity in the first month of deregulation. This seems to indicate there’s an issue with other areas of the country, it doesn’t look like they have any appetite to switch, yet we know that some of the areas with low switching have some of the highest levels of awareness of the ability to switch.
42% of the poll’s respondents remained unaware of the water market’s deregulation.
Our results indicate that the primary driver for SME’s switching is price, which matches customer behaviour in the wider energy sector. 58% of respondents would be willing to change suppliers to someone they had never heard of, if the price was right. Not really surprising hey? But what if we told you that the data also showed that customer service is important for future customer retention?
There is significant interest from businesses in alternative tariffing and other value added services that support and encourage efficient usage to deliver sustainable savings, i.e. 47% of SMEs would use recycled water with support and incentives. As the song goes...”it’s not (only) about the money, money, money...”
However, the major message and one that has made much of the industry sit up and listen comes from MOSL (the market operator of England’s non-household water market). Since the water market was deregulated in April this year, just 1.4% of SMEs nationally have switched water supplier.
If you want to find out more about our research or have any questions, please contact us using the button at the bottom of this screen, or drop us an email.