Posted on: 11/03/2021
John-Paul Jenner, Marketing Manager for SmartestEnergy Business Ltd (formerly Dual Energy), takes a look at how the SmartestEnergy Business team is working hard to put the customer first and in doing so receive some very encouraging feedback during what continues to be a challenging period for suppliers in general.
As an energy supplier, delivering consistently great service in today’s climate is something that requires focus and determination. But to go a step further and maintain an excellent reputation would be quite an achievement. So how can this be done?
Consistently getting the basics right
To start with, it’s a bit of a cliché but great service starts with getting the basics right. Whilst competitive prices, an easy-to-understand bill and accurate monthly payment plan are high up the list, the more traditional aspects of short call waiting times, not being placed on hold for lengthy periods, queries handled promptly by the same advisor, and being treated as a real human being (not just an account number) are what can genuinely leave a lasting impression and make a big difference to onboard life.
To go a step further, it’s about having honest communication with the customer along with an understanding of their business, especially in the current climate when many have had to temporarily close or reduce their operation to see out the coronavirus pandemic. It takes the whole team to get behind the ideal that without customers, the company would simply not exist. From that comes a dedication to listen to every customer and do the best to support and satisfy their needs.
For example, one of the crucial projects of the past 12 months has been to reach out to those experiencing financial difficulty, easing cashflow concerns by adjusting payment arrangements. And for those customers who are really up against it, setting up a hardship scheme to help fund mounting debt. All this in addition to a long-standing prepay service that helps customers remain on-supply whilst giving better controls over energy usage.
A simple approach to services
It is this simple approach that has helped SmartestEnergy Business achieve its highest accolade to date, with an ‘Excellent’ net promoter score via the Trustpilot review centre. This is something that the team is very proud of and goes a long way in recognising the efforts made by everyone across the organisation and not just the customer-facing staff.
The feedback has been very positive, with many notable testaments and recommendations along the way (see below examples). There will always be some instances to the contrary and the negative reviews are treated as an opportunity to look at how the business can improve and do things better next time around.
TrustPilot customer feedback
“My query was handled in a friendly and professional manner. The process for applying for the hardship fund was explained clearly and processed without delay. I received help and feedback at each stage. Would highly recommend.”
“Very helpful, polite and dealt with my query efficiently. I have always had great customer service with SmartestEnergy Business, with very short call waiting times and staff who solve queries easily and knowledgably.”
“I never write reviews but I just couldn't believe how great the service is from SmartestEnergy Business. I had an issue with an invoice so I submitted a meter reading and followed it up with a phone call when I got straight through to a real human! The advisor followed this up and arranged for a credit to be applied and new invoice issued that same day, with a follow up email to tell me it had all been sorted. Great service!”
“You call them, they answer, they deal with your query there and then! I spoke with a delightful advisor as my Direct Debit was higher than my bill. They gave me options, I chose one, they actioned it. I make a lot of calls in several industries. Covid-19 has promoted appalling service these days. I am happy to say SmartestEnergy Business does not seem to be in this category. I recommend them to any business seeking a decent energy supplier.”
To read more reviews of the SmartestEnergy Business customer experience, please visit the Trustpilot page here
Maintaining the drive for excellence
Finally, what does the future hold for maintaining an ‘Excellent’ reputation in the UK energy market?
With promising signs ahead as businesses plan to reopen following lockdown, the focus for SmartestEnergy Business will remain on providing the same great service consistently across the board, whilst underpinning a growth strategy in a bid to help lower the energy costs of the wider small business community.
There is little or no room for complacency as the stakes are high and investments in new systems and digital technology will ensure the customer experience and day-to-day interactions go beyond expectations. Just as important will be to spread the message that the business is in a good position with strong financial backing, and therefore a reliable and trusted supplier. This is significant due to the uncertainty that looms in the market and recent failure of other energy suppliers.
In parallel to this will be the ongoing commitment to building momentum amongst small businesses in the journey to net zero and promote how realistic changes can over time reduce and offset their carbon footprint. There are some exciting product developments in the pipeline to help with the transition, further details to follow in the next update from SmartestEnergy Business.