Energy company Power NI based in Northern Ireland has seen more and more customers opting to 'pay as they go'. A quarter of a million people in Northern Ireland now have electricity keypads installed in their homes. The plus side of pre-paying for utilities is that customers can manage what they are using and don't get hit by surprise bills. However, the system needs to ensure people do not run out of electricity when they are least expecting it.
Power NI aims to solve that problem by developing an app for customers to top up their accounts from their phones. Kerstie Forsyth from Power NI says, 'As not all customers will have access to a smart phone or internet access, there are other payment options, like paying over the phone.' The smart phone app is not only an improvement to Power NI's product offer but also opens up new places (or channels) for customers to access its services. The app is only available for Apple phones at the moment, but Power NI say it should be available for Google Android users within the next few weeks. (BBC, 14th October 2011)
Parcelforce Worldwide is part of Royal Mail Group and is a leading provider of express parcel deliveries. When faced with changing customer requirements, it reviewed its marketing mix in order to differentiate the business from competitors and achieve its business goals.This review has resulted in a clearer and simpler range of product options, with each described as a combination of value and speed. Parcelforce has consequently adjusted its pricing structures to reflect different customer priorities. It has also streamlined the 'place', giving customers clear options of ordering Parcelforce services directly through its website or face-to-face through Post Office branches and Parcelforce depots.