Energy brokers constantly have to make decisions and predictions for clients and their own businesses. One of the most imperative is determining which energy suppliers they should work with. The suppliers you choose regulate what kind of energy and deals you can offer to potential clients. To help you determine which energy suppliers you should work with, you should evaluate what consumers expect from their energy suppliers. Keep reading to see what you should be looking out for when making supplier decisions.
Understand Your Consumers’ Energy Needs
Before you can sell more energy and select a reliable supplier, you should consider your specific client’s needs. Understanding what type of energy your consumer needs, their usage history, risk tolerance, and financial goals all play a part in selecting suppliers.
Before you begin looking for an energy supplier, you must evaluate your consumer's needs and determine which kind of energy would be best for them. Whether it is natural gas or electricity, you will need to ensure that the supplier offers the specific kind of energy that is desired. It could be that you need a combination of the two. Choosing a supplier that can meet both of those needs can streamline your energy management while increasing your client’s savings. For many large organizations like universities, hospitals, and large businesses, renewables is a desired option to continue their sustainability efforts. Knowing their needs and priorities is imperative before you begin the energy supplier hunt.
Many suppliers customize rates based on the consumer’s past usage. Knowing your client’s energy history and trends can help you be prepared to present potential suppliers with a usage estimation. By ensuring your usage estimate is accurate, you can avoid large spikes in their rates. Understanding how your consumer’s usage fluctuates by week, day, and even hour can add extra insight and value to your estimate. Suppliers can use this analysis to build a custom price after seeing the consistency of their customer’s usage.
Risk tolerance is how much of your consumer’s energy usage can be exposed to market fluctuations. A higher risk tolerance will be more attracted to index pricing while businesses with a low-risk tolerance will need a fixed pricing plan. If they are on a tight budget, their usage will be less flexible and may need to constantly stay under a certain limit. With the market ever changing, index pricing could spike for a season of time and cause their bill to exceed their budget.
Another area where usage history can be an important factor to evaluate is determining your client’s business goal. Set their budget based on their past usage. Is their priority maintaining a consistent price? Do they want to set a budget and stick to it? Or is achieving the lowest possible price without going over a set amount most important to them? Understanding how to set a realistic financial goal is essential when it comes to choosing a supplier that will provide your consumer with the best plan for their goals.
What Consumers Want From an Energy Supplier
Consumers have their own expectations about what a supplier and energy broker should provide. Knowing what is expected can influence what type of suppliers you work with.
Independent energy suppliers can offer a range of customized pricing plans to meet your needs. By evaluating every aspect of your consumer usage, budget, and risk tolerance, suppliers can compare and select a plan customized to your needs. Fixed-price plans can be ideal for some due to their consistency. No matter what shifts happen in the market, your rate will be fixed at a steady price. Index price changes on a regular basis since it is based on market prices. As there are spikes and declines in market prices, it will be reflected in your client’s bill. Make sure you evaluate everything that is included in their price to ensure they are satisfied with the price and value.
A supplier that will be continually evaluating the market and can offer advice to help you make informed decisions. Since they will have the most up-to-date information, they can be valuable resources during the decision-making process. As an energy broker, you will want to understand exactly what your clients are paying for. Suppliers are an additional resource that can help you discern which plan is best for your client. Suppliers can be crucial in helping explain the price breakdown and how they will be billed. Taxes and fees should be factored into their budget and a relationship with a supplier can provide you with accurate estimates. Once your client has signed a contract, market trends and insights should still be provided by your supplier.
Reputable and trusted energy brokers have earned this reputation by providing exceptional customer service. Suppliers will contribute to customer satisfaction by recommending programs and plans to help minimize their costs while maximizing their value. If there is a problem, you should be able to have direct contact with the supplier on a daily basis. If communication is not seamless, it will reflect poorly on your broker skills. Ensure your clients receive excellent customer service by working with clients who also have outstanding customer service.
Once your client signs a contract, a supplier should provide you with detailed information that you can easily access. Whether it is a monthly mailed statement or online software, you should be able to view your account information, client usage history, and client billing history. This can be helpful to track usage, finding ways to save, and evaluating their plan. The supplier should detail how you can access this information before a contract is signed.
Different industries and clients have different needs. If you are in a niche market, consider looking into a supplier that worked with similar organizations. They will be able to understand your unique needs and expectations due to their history with similar brokers. A seasoned supplier has earned credibility over the years and can give you peace of mind. By having confidence in your supplier, you can be reassured that they will be a stable resource during the unsteady trends in energy markets.
With suppliers offering their services left and right, it can be difficult to know which one offers the best deal and information that will satisfy your client. Evaluating each supplier based on the consumer’s perspective can provide valuable insight and help you make a decision. Working with the right suppliers can increase your credibility and customer satisfaction.
Do you want to continue expanding your business? Learn how to win more deals here.
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