Nova says a series of product innovations and an on-going focus on value has enabled it to significantly grow its electricity business during the past three years.
In 2015 the company was New Zealand’s second-fastest growing electricity retailer by ICPs. It has expanded its retail reach across most of the country and that growing market presence is being felt by consumers.
A bi-annual survey conducted by Perceptive Research indicates that a third of New Zealand customers would now consider Nova next time they were looking to switch energy providers. This has grown from 10 percent in May 2014.
The retailer’s operating model was developed based on extensive staff and customer research, which found that customers don’t necessarily want added frills if it costs a premium. This resulted in a key focus on keeping costs as lean as possible.
Nova offers electricity, gas and LPG and works to tailor energy solutions to best suit their customers’ needs.
It has built a digital platform to help improve their customer experience. The first development on the Salesforce technology platform was an energy bill comparison calculator.
Sales staff now use iPads for their customer relations, such as when signing a customer up to Nova. This removes the need for manual, paper-based processes. Customers can also now access the application via Nova’s website. The application has recently been expanded to automate customer service requests. This allows staff and service contractors to set-up, issue and track progress of these requests on an efficient immediate basis.
Customers with smart meters can also now ‘optimise’ their electricity bill with free assessments and checks to ensure that the expected savings are being achieved. This ‘optimisation plan’ targets commercial electricity customers who are on non-optimal metering set ups, and tracks their energy usage patterns.
Nova also partnered with Powerco and Rinnai to launch a gas hot water heating package, which includes the connection of gas to the home and installation of a continuous-flow unit. The partners worked together to provide the package at very competitive prices. Customers can either pay the total cost upfront or on a manageable monthly payment plan.
Nova’s team have been recognised with a range of customer satisfactions awards. These include Roy Morgan customer satisfaction awards for energy provider of the year 2015-16 as well as gas provider of the year for 2012, 2013 and 2014. It was runner up in 2015. Nova also won the CRM energy retailer contact centre of the year award in 2014.
The energy retailer’s advertising campaign has also played a role in its success. This features Greg Grover from Nova, and the latest TV ad, featuring Greg telling Nova’s ‘great value energy’ story was voted New Zealand’s favourite TV ad in April 2016.
The Consumer NZ Energy Retailer of the Year award category is sponsored by ERANZ