Utilities is the worst-rated sector, with only two companies among the Top 100 brands: innogy and ČEZ. Since last year, the overall sector rankings have improved, but not substantially enough to move ahead of the second worst sector (Telecommunications).
There are three clear trends in the energy market:
Utilities are devising new products to add to their commodity offer. ČEZ, in partnership with McDonald’s, has installed 20 electric car fast-charging stations, the most recent of which are located by the D11 motorway.
In 2019, the installation of solar power systems also accelerated. Both smaller, home-based solar power plants, including energy storage, and larger systems at companies can take advantage of subsidies. Given Europe’s energy goals, the number of installations will likely increase even more rapidly.
In particular, switching between contracts is being simplified. At MND, all documents can now be easily signed online – via a mobile phone or the click of a mouse. Everything can be arranged when it is most convenient for customers. They no longer need visit a branch or organize handing over documents to a courier, an arrangement that applied at MND until recently.
This factor, together with the price developments in energy markets, leads customers to switch suppliers faster.
innogy in the Czech Republic is testing BioCNG, with which natural gas can be as sustainable an energy source as solar or wind power.
innogy: „An excellent app for energy and gas consumption management. You can enter the current meter status, adjust advance payments and check bills. And invoices are always to hand. Overall, it’s easy to access, and it works. A truly fantastic, customer-friendly approach.“
ČEZ: „I’ve been very satisfied when dealing with their employees at the branch. They’re very accommodating, and interacting with them has been a pleasure. They serve coffee, too. They try to find, suss out and sort out all the important stuff, so I don’t have to pay another visit to the branch.“
„With Pražská plynárenská, you can sort out everything at home, either electronically or by phone, and it all runs smoothly“
Innogy occupies the first place in the sector. Between 2019 and 2020, it moved up 24 places in the overall rankings, reaching the Top 100. It stood out the most in the expectations pillar. When compared with its competitors, Innogy’s customer interactions are faster and more efficient, and customers can have their needs met through the channels that suit them best.
The ČEZ brand occupies second place. Within the sector, it improved by moving up one point in comparison with 2019. It moved up a very respectable 47 places in the overall rankings and, like innogy, crept into the Top 100. ČEZ improved most notably in the resolution pillar, in which it ranks best in the sector today. An analysis of customer comments suggests that better resolution is due to employee willingness to meet customer needs and see a solution through to the end.
Pražská plynárenská occupies the third spot. Although it did not jump to the Top 100 overall, the company overtook two other brands in the sector. Its improvement in the time and effort pillar suggests that the brand manages customer requests faster and more smoothly than previously.
From the customer perspective, the coronavirus crisis has not severely impacted the Utilities sector. It has complicated some interactions, but these were not serious problems; other sectors were affected much more. Many companies have sought to reach out to people in the neighbourhoods where they operate, mitigating the anticipated effects of the crisis and supporting anti-COVID-19 measures.
innogy supplied 16,000 masks to residents in Náchod and partnered with the Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux to resolve the problems of innogy clients, principally socially disadvantaged and disabled customers and senior citizens. The MND brand has launched a fast grants scheme to organizations supporting old-age pensioners in connection with COVID-19, and E.ON has donated five million crowns to hospitals.