ARCWe want customers to have a fantastic experience when they deal with us, and aspire to be one of the very best service providers in any industry – not just the utility sector.

Over the past three years we have carried out an extensive research project, engaging with more than 30,000 customers to find out their priorities, and where our services can be improved.

The research highlighted that customers want to be able to contact us easily, through a channel of their choice, and to be kept informed about the resolution of their issue.

In 2013/14, we continued to focus on providing a broad mix of contact channels to improve convenience for our customers.

Recent improvements include:

Increased take-up of My Account: our online customer account management service continued to go from strength to strength, with over 350,000 customers now registered and a 40 per cent increase in online transactions. Customers can use the service to view their bill and sign up for paperless billing, check their balance and make payments. They can also give a meter reading, let us know they are moving and email us. It’s quick and easy to use and it’s all within in a safe and secure environment.

Improved email communications: our customers told us they wanted to be able to attach documents to their emails so earlier this year we improved our email capability to enable our customers to do this.

Introduced an SMS text feedback channel: during the last 12 months we’ve received over 20,000 texts and web chat surveys from customers giving feedback on the way we handled their enquiry.

Changed our phone numbers: customers said they wanted it to be cheaper to call us. In response, we’ve changed our phone numbers to a mix of 0800 and 0345 numbers, providing more cost effective calls from mobiles and landlines.

Complaint eductionsImproving complaint and issues resolution: some customer enquiries are more complex than others, require input from other parts of the business and take time to resolve. In these situations, our customers said they want to be kept informed of our progress. In response, we’ve launched a major review of the way we handle complex complaints and enquiries. The process has seen us examine more than 50 common scenarios (from billing queries to leak investigations) to see where we can speed up resolution and improve the overall customer experience.

 

Improved customer service skills: we’ve invested in our people by delivering a coaching programme to over 100 employees, equipping them with the skills to coach our 600 strong contact centre team – based in Whitehaven and Warrington.

If you would like to send us a comment about this report, please email our Head of Sustainability, Chris Matthews