A survey by HomeServe has highlighted the top three issues concerning UK homeowners are all energy related. The biggest is being overcharged followed by poor quality workmanship and suppliers that fail to turn up.
Overall engaging with tradespeople seemed to be more of a problem in the UK as opposed to Europe. Energy related issues included electrics failure, heating and cooling systems not working and gas leaks due to the amount of money it cost to fix them. UK home owners said they spent around £117 on gas leaks, £277 on heating and cooling system malfunctions and £61 on electrics failures.
The global home services business report also revealed the top challenges and opportunities for utility providers to differentiate their product offers, improve engagement and become more relevant for customers’ homes. It found many users are enthusiastic about smart devices, with around 41 per cent wanting their heating or cooling to be app controlled. UK customers stated they would like to control home security, lighting and heating or cooling via an app.
HomeServe surveyed 20,000 homeowners in 20 countries from UK, Europe, Asia, South America to Australasia to better understand the needs of consumers within the changing landscape.
Around 71 per cent of customers worldwide were satisfied with their utility company, with 67 per cent saying they would recommend them.
Within the UK sample, 47 per cent were male and 53 per cent female. It identified their top concerns as major energy breakdowns in the home, specifically electric failures, gas leaks, cost of repairs, blocked drains and dealing with a poorly qualified tradesman.
Giles Desforges, CEO global partnerships at HomeServe, said: “Whilst overall satisfaction of Utility providers is high, in an industry of deregulation, new disrupting entrants, and margin erosion, key components of long-term customer loyalty such as engagement, communication and care are worryingly low.”
Further findings show less than one in three feel their utilities provider is caring, engaged, communicative or innovative. Around 57 per cent were likely to buy and would pay “a substantial amount” for a home assistance service for peace of mind. Around 64 per cent think a utility company would be a suitable provider of home assistance services.
Desforges, added: “This report has shown that customers want extra help and peace of mind when things go wrong and are prepared to pay for it too.
“This presents a huge opportunity for utility companies to provide value added services to enrich and differentiate their offer and increase their relevance to their customers.”