Powershop, the world's first online electricity retailer and New Zealand's fastest growing power company, says it is thriving.
The company's success since its 2009 launch has proved that it is possible to revolutionise the way customers purchase and manage electricity and that customers are more and more willing to engage and understand their energy consumption.
In the past year, Powershop booked more customer gains than any other individual competitor according to official Electricity Authority numbers, with 14,558 new accounts in the year ended March 31, representing a 91 per cent increase in the company's customer base.
The company achieved the highest rating of customer satisfaction ever recorded by Consumer New Zealand, with 92 per cent of customers rating its performance as good or very good. Powershop has enjoyed this top ranking two years in a row now and is sitting 17 per cent above the industry average.
Powershop also measures its success against internal standards and found that 88 per cent would recommend the company. The company introduced a Customer Value Metric in the past year, which found that 71 per cent of customers achieved a score above the industry average of 25, meaning Powershop customers are guaranteed to be more engaged and satisfied.
Powershop saved its customers money, with 94 per cent of residential consumers saving an average $125 on their annual power bill and business customers saving an average 12 per cent on their accounts.
The company says it offers customers a unique retail experience, enabling them to buy electricity as if it were groceries at the super market. Customers can monitor their consumption online and can now check this from any location using "Powershop anywhere" with the Powershop IPhone, Android or IPad applications to check meter readings and daily usage.
Powershop says that during a period of high account switching industry-wide it kept its customers on board by providing continued engagement through regular communication, including weekly and monthly emails to check their power usage. The company was quick to recognise the power of social media and says it now has more Facebook and Twitter followers than every other power company combined. It uses the technology to get customer feedback and offer special electricity bargains and Powerplus specials which combine those power deals with discount options from Powershop's business customers.
Marketing innovation is important to the company. Instead of relying solely on traditional forms of advertising it used the great rapport it has built with customers to its advantage, employing word-of-mouth recommendations to get new customers.
The "New Zealand loves Powershop" campaign ran on online sites such as Trade Me, the New Zealand Herald and Stuff which featured positive feedback from customers received through emails, calls and Facebook. Powershop also ran a "friend get friend" campaign, in which customers who recommended the firm to someone who subsequently signed up, got free power.