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It’s always important to choose a utility provider you know you can trust, but in times as uncertain as these, it’s vital. We understand that as a busy small business owner, spending time searching for the right supplier – be it energy, broadband or telephone – might not be the most exciting task. But while it’s tempting to sign up for the first option you find, the last thing you want is to discover that you’re locked into a contract with a supplier you can’t trust.
In some cases, a rushed decision at the outset might cost you more money and hassle in the long run. For example, if the supplier has poor customer service or can’t provide the information you need, you could end up wasting time trying to resolve disputes and queries – and that’s not great news when you’re already pushed for time.
When it comes to gas and electricity, finding a provider that’s right for your business doesn’t have to be a chore. While cost will inevitably be an important factor in the decision-making process, there’s more to getting a good deal than simply signing up for the cheapest tariff. Here are some handy pointers on what to look for when choosing a reliable energy supplier for your business.
Before you’re swayed by promises of cheap deals or attractive incentives, it’s a good idea to check the company has a trusted track record. The most reputable providers often have a review site such as Trustpilot, which allows customers to leave honest feedback on their service. This can give you a useful insight into other customers’ experiences – both good and bad – and is a great way to gauge a company’s reputability and performance.
If you’re thinking of switching suppliers, opt for a provider that specialises in working with SMEs. Not only will they better understand the unique challenges facing a business of your size, but they should also be able to offer more flexible energy solutions to meet your business needs.
As your business grows, your energy requirements will also change. You’ll therefore need a supplier who is flexible enough to accommodate your expansion plans and assist you with things such as meter upgrades, site connections and/or disconnections. Speak to providers to check they’re well-equipped to support your business as it evolves – doing your homework now could pay dividends in the long term.
Look for a provider that offers a choice of products that are closely aligned with your energy priorities – whether that’s fixed prices, a flexible contract or renewable energy options. Actively engage with suppliers to make sure you fully understand the product, its benefits and the terms of the contract. Only that way can you be confident of choosing a deal that’s right for your needs.
It’s worth checking if, and how often, the provider communicates with their customers outside of their regular billing. Do they offer regular and informative advice to help you manage your business’s energy consumption and improve your energy efficiency? Honest and helpful communication is key to building a strong business partnership and establishing trust during uncertain times.
If something goes wrong, you’ll want a company that’s easy to contact and deals with any issues promptly. As UKBF member Casperouk points out in one online discussion, “I think customer service, especially after sales is very important – all of us we want to be treated in professional way.”
Again, review sites such as Trustpilot are helpful here as they allow you to see how well the provider responds to online customer feedback, complaints and queries. It’s an approach that’s adopted by many UKBF users. “I always look for reviews, feedback and previous customer purchases prior to making a deal,” says UKBF member shamthompson.
In what is an already worrying time for many businesses, it’s crucial to find an energy provider you can rely on. Get the decision right and you could see benefits to your business’s bottom line, while also enjoying peace of mind for the future.
Total Gas & Power are business energy experts, with more than 30 years’ experience of powering businesses of all sizes.
Our customers rate us Great on Trustpilot, so to find out how we can help you and your business, visit Total Gas & Power on Trustpilot.