We have laid the foundations of customer service at npower by investing £200 million in our customer service platform since 2011. We continue to move nearly seven million customer account details onto the system and to train our employees in its use. Our focus on customers also mirrors organisational developments within RWE which, in early 2013, allowed npower to become a stand alone retail company with a greater emphasis on customer care.
Customer service platform upgrade
Our new customer service and billing platform allows our employees to access contract history, billing, payment and installation information simultaneously. This means we can deliver an improved customer journey by reducing the time it takes to resolve problems.
The system also gives us more insight into a customer’s energy consumption, which, in turn, helps us to deliver the right products and services at the right prices and at the right time.
There is a call-back service, allowing customers to request a call-back at a time of their convenience, rather than waiting on hold at busy times. Moreover, in response to customer feedback, we introduced freephone customer service numbers for callers from both landlines and mobile phones.
Getting it right for our customers
The company-wide transformation of all our processes around customer satisfaction has been summed up by our new CEO Paul Massara’s commitment to make npower number one in the industry for customer experience by 2015:
“In the past we’ve been an engineering led company and we were known as number one for investment and innovation in the UK’s infrastructure. From now on, we’re a new customer led business and we want to be number one at this too. It’s time for a step change in our business culture – everything we do will have the customer at the heart of it.”
The Customer Transformation Programme, which has helped us to move towards greater customer focus, has three main work streams:
- Leadership and development
- Operational excellence
- End-to-end customer journeys
Fundamental to the vision behind the transformation is the notion that the end-to-end customer journey is crucial to everything we do, affecting how we interact with the customer, and with each other, every day. This entails treating our customers as individuals instead of numbers, understanding their needs, sorting out their problems first time and communicating with integrity and openness.
We also understand that our customers’ needs in relation to their journey with us will change as the technological, economic and environmental landscape moves on. We have taken account of this by building flexibility into the new system and by setting up a process by which we can make the most of customer feedback.
The voice of the customer
Customers tell us that they want energy companies to listen to their needs and help them take control of their energy bills. As part of our new customer-centric approach we have launched our Voice of the Customer programme which will analyse all customer feedback and use it to shape future initiatives and business decisions.
2012 was a year during which we strengthened the processes by which we can drive continuous improvement based around the needs of our customers. We know that our target of being best for customer experience by 2015 will not be easy to achieve, but, in striving to make it a reality, we will be improving our ability to meet complex energy needs, one customer at a time.