At Energy Assets we believe that excellent customer service is an integral part of our offering. We also believe that good customer service has four key qualities: personalisation, competency, convenience and proactivity. These four factors have the biggest influence on the customer experience.
Good customer service starts with a human touch. Therefore we always ensure that our customers are able to talk to a real person and our expert employees personalise every interaction, because we care about each and every interaction. Our Customer Support Team has a strong, in-depth knowledge of our company and our products and services, as well as the power to fix any customer issue. The more knowledge our employees have, the more competent they are to help our customers. For the convenience of our customers, we offer several communication channels to enable each customer to choose the preferred method that suits them best. We also offer a first class emergency support service.
At Energy Assets, we make sure that we respond to all our customers in a timely manner and are always proactive in our approach. What we don’t do is close out interactions with our customers as quickly as possible. We are more than willing to take the time to listen to and fully understand each customer’s issues and needs. Our ability to communicate clearly when working with customers is a key skill because miscommunications can result in disappointment and frustration. The best customer service professionals know how to keep their communications with customers simple and leave nothing to doubt, and we believe we have the best in the business.
So in the spirit of Customer Service Week (w/c 5th October 2020), and to help raise the profile of the vital role this plays in successful business practice, we have invited some of our expert Customer Service Managers and Team Leaders to give their thoughts about what good customer service looks like.
Pauline Bryon - Customer Services Manager Operations
For me, good customer service means consistently delivering what the customer needs. Having a thorough understanding of all our products and services helps supports us all in our delivery and maintains our strong reputation in the market place. It is important to make sure our customer feel informed and that we always respond to queries in a timely manner making sure all our communications are dealt with in an easy to understand format - we never assume that customers know all the technical aspects to an enquiry.
Based in Darwen, our team is made up of highly experienced Customer Support Co-Ordinators and Customer Service Advisors who strive to deliver first class service and provide a ‘one stop shop’ for all customer enquiries. We ensure all enquiries are responded to in an efficient and timely manner aiming for first response resolution. Enquiries received can vary from: requesting updates on the progress of site visits to missing/incorrect data queries.
We continually review our processes to look for opportunities to improve and streamline current procedures to improve the customer experience, overall quality and remove waste. We want to identify an issue before our customer does and takes steps to resolve it before any potential impact. We take pride in the service we offer our customers and spend time building strong relationships with our suppliers. We complete regular reports for our customers and participate in conference calls to ensure that projects and deployments are progressing, that customers have access to all key information and to ensure we are fulfilling our contractual obligations.
Sarah Stott - Team Leader, Customer Services
Good customer service to me is responding to our customers’ needs in a timely and attentive manner - and as a team, I believe we achieve this.
I started with the company 10 years ago as a ‘scheduler’, as it was known back then, on a temporary contract. I was given a permanent contract 2 months later and I have progressed through the business ever since. I moved over to the installs team, which was fast paced and required a lot patience and knowledge. Given my experience of working with the engineers in scheduling, I understood the need to turn around the calls quickly to enable the engineer to move onto his next appointment. I gained a great deal of knowledge on installs and became the ‘go to’ person for any tricky installs.
Fast forward a couple of years and I was successful in my interview for the CSA role. This was a whole new world – completely different utility and back to an external customer base but I really enjoyed learning new things and building up relationships with other offices / departments within the business.
After being in the role of CSA for two years I was appointed as Team Leader for Customer Services. To say this has been challenging, especially during the pandemic, would be an understatement but I am learning every day. I am proud of our team and how they deal with the challenges we face on a daily basis. Lockdown proved to me that we have one of the most adaptable teams within the company. Whilst many of our employees were on furlough, those that remained as ‘active’ worked as a team to ensure all of our tasks were completed to our usual high standards, yet we still supported other departments within the business. We are pleased to say that our team has many long standing employees, so through the knowledge gained over the years and the progression through different departments, we are able to support installs and planning activity very well.
Fiona Rendall - Team Manager, Planning
An integral part of the planners role in Power is being able to provide an exemplary Customer Service experience – this is vital; as the Planner is quite often the first point of contact with the Customer. It is important that the impression that is then left with the Customer is a positive one, as when the engineer attends each site they then become the face of our business.
A Planner can, on a daily basis, be in contact with our main suppliers as well as direct customers, receiving inbound calls and initiating outbound calls. This may be for one job or a large scale project in excess of 500. On average, each planner can make 60-80 calls per day – or more! Ongoing team improvements are carried out via call coaching with the Planners on a monthly basis. We provide recognition points of positive calls but also coaching and action points detailing if there is any room for improvement. These sessions set and enable the required high standard and quality that each Planner should attain as well as also encompassing soft skills within each call. The little touches matter.
Some members of the team completed the Customer Service course with West Lothian College last year and all found this to be interesting and insightful, passing the contents of the course onto others that were not able to attend. In addition, those that have completed their MA’s have all completed a Customer Service module. Providing the best customer journey is key to the team, as is being polite, honest and responsive. Good customer service is what keeps a customer coming back through the loyalty and trust built up. We pride ourselves on delivering this daily. But most of all our team must remain calm, positive and treat each customer as an individual.
Over the years, the Customer Service Team has provided an unlimited amount of support for the Planning Team on countless occasions, whether with the Suppliers or individual customers. The Team is always happy to help with any query or information that is required to aid the best customer journey possible. We all work very closely together to maintain and improve the service provided. In the last few months in particular, the inter-departmental relationships with both teams has been reinforced and strengthened through the use of video calls with one another - this is yet another positive step for the business and will continue to be built upon.
Tony Wilson - Corporate Account Manager
Communication is key to a lasting customer relationship, and this encompasses speed of response, politeness and honesty. Whilst we have specific processes in place you need to be flexible too when customers are looking to you to help achieve their targets.
When faced with the occasional extremely difficult circumstance our MOP Team of CSA’s and schedulers continue regardless, and time and time again come up with the goods. This makes my job as the front facing Account Manager so much easier because it gives me the confidence to know that all that can be done in the back office / front office, will be done. With many going above and beyond.
Lisa Thomas - Team Leader, Customer Services
I have worked for Energy Assets for 4 years progressing from a CSA to a Team Leader. I enjoy both the challenge and variety that my job brings. In my current role I predominantly oversee gas customer service activities. This involves ensuring all our customers receive timely responses to all enquiries and supporting the team in achieving this. I also liaise with other departments to ensure a smooth end-to-end customer journey. I am proud of the team and what we have achieved so far, particularly during the last 6 months during COVID-19 where we have been able to cover tasks usually completed outside of the department and ensure minimum disruption to our customers during very challenging times.
Within Customer Services, we are a ‘one-stop shop’ for all customer enquiries via telephone, email and the Energy Assets Management System. This allows us the opportunity to develop knowledge in multiple areas of the business and work with all other departments to ensure the customer gets the best possible service. I feel, as a department, we add real value to the customer experience and take great pride in the service we offer.
To me customer service is caring about the experience of our customer and the impression they have of the business. It is trying to anticipate the needs of our customer to make sure the customer journey is as smooth and efficient as possible and queries are resolved first time.
For more information on how Energy Assets can help you with your metering, data, network utilities or renewable projects please visit our website energyassets.co.uk and one of our expert team members will be happy to help you.
Please note: All photography was taken pre COVID-19.