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Seven In Ten Customers Say Bills Not Getting Easier To Understand

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Bills by Erich Ferdinand via flickr

Bills aren’t getting any easier to understand for the majority of UK customers. According to new research from Echo Managed Services, as a result they are still confusing customers and organisations are wasting an important customer touch point.

This is despite up to a third of people stating that clarity is the number one billing improvement businesses need to work on, and 24% saying they have struggled with bill complexity in the past.

Based on a nationally-representative sample of 1,000 UK adults, the research found that as many as 70% of consumers feel bills have stayed the same or actually become harder to understand, while only 3 in 10 feel they are getting simpler.

Struggling with billing jargon, consumers cited the most confusing terminology to be ‘tariff information label’, with 78% of those surveyed stating they didn’t understand what it meant. Other terms topping the list were ‘chargeable value’ (72%), and ‘tariff comparison rate’ (72%).

By not simplifying bills or clarifying terminology, businesses are failing to take full advantage of a valuable customer touch point – as the research unveiled that up to a quarter of people said a bill had helped them save money, while a further one in five said a bill had provided useful information about a new product or service.

Furthermore, previous research has found that unclear bills can lead to debt issues – with over a third (36%) of late or non-payments occurring as a result of billing issues such as inaccurate bills, bills customers couldn’t understand and bill shock.

Commenting on the findings, Nigel Baker, managing director at Echo Managed Services, said: “While it is disappointing that the majority of consumers feel that they are not seeing any improvement in the clarity of their bills, these findings should also be viewed as an opportunity for businesses. Our research found that those companies willing to understand and empathise with customers by simplifying bills, providing greater transparency, ensuring the lines of communication with customers remain open, and adding value, will be able to bolster loyalty and improve the company-customer relationship.

“Businesses need to act and adapt in order to improve the billing experiences of their customers, whilst of course keeping in mind that every customer is an individual, so will have different needs, preferences, and extents to which they’d prefer their bill simplified. Companies should not only look to provide more bill clarity, but also team this with useful online resources and a knowledgable customer contact team to ensure customers are fully supported to a degree which suits them.

“Through better and more transparent communication, companies will lessen the likelihood of both bill shock and protest debt, enhance the overall billing experience, and ultimately win the favour of their customers.”

For the full report and rankings please visit: https://www.echo-ms.com/knowledge-centre/research-resources/the-secrets-of-better-billing

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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