Rdentify in the energy industry
At a time when energy prices have hit record levels, the industry is under more scrutiny than ever before.
As customers brace themselves for a £693 price cap increase in April 2022, the reputation of the industry is being continually damaged due to poor levels of customer service. Vulnerable customers are not being adequately monitored and protected, and some households have been left to face erroneous demands for hundreds of pounds and threats of bailiffs if they contest them.
As such, Citizens Advice have claimed that energy companies are “failing in their most basic obligation to customers”, and aren’t delivering services to the standards expected of them.
In today’s market, customer service is one of the key drivers of complaints in the energy industry. And when it comes to effective signposting for at-risk customers, Ofgem requires accuracy and reliability from providers, who need to provide ongoing support to those who are vulnerable. But it’s clear that these requirements are not being fulfilled right now- leading to severe consequences.
In the UK utilities sector, Ofgem reports that the rate at which energy companies are losing customers is in excess of 19% every month. And this number is still rising.
Fines for energy providers are also becoming commonplace. In 2016, Scottish Power was fined £18 million after regulators identified serious failings with its customer service and billing systems.
The Citizens Advice Extra Help Unit (EHU ) recently reported that the majority of complaints they receive concern billing issues (37.1%) as well as debt and disconnections (21.9%). This indicates that much more needs to be done to support customers- especially those who are vulnerable.
Historic data from Citizens Advice has also revealed that ratings of customer service from energy suppliers are generally poor. While there are some organisations out there that are fulfilling customer expectations and protecting vulnerable customers, the gap is widening between top and bottom rankings- and there are many companies that are failing to provide adequate services.
Improving customer service
It’s important to remember that customer service excellence isn’t determined by a company’s size. It’s about the level of commitment to protecting vulnerable customers and improving service standards. And suppliers need to be aware of just how much customer service can affect their profitability.
Research shows that 85% of business energy customers in the UK are willing to pay up to 25% more in order to get better customer service; accurate billing, ease of query resolution and the ability to quickly speak to a knowledgeable customer service professional all have a vital role to play.
It’s therefore clear that investment in a robust customer service strategy that prioritises vulnerable customers not only improves levels of customer satisfaction; it also tangibly impacts the bottom line. If a customer has a positive experience with an energy company, they’re less likely to switch to another provider at the end of their existing contract than those that have a poor experience. Utility customers today want to be more engaged in the options available to them, and secure long-term, trusted relationships with their suppliers.
If energy companies are serious about supporting vulnerable customers and improving industry standards, they need to invest in the right kind of tools to drive efficiency, improve accuracy, and offer positive customer interactions and outcomes.
And this is where we can help.
A fail-safe solution
The answer is Rdentify- advanced customer risk analysis software that allows you to identify and protect vulnerable consumers, and deliver consistently high standards of service.
Rdentify smart technology allows any energy provider to accurately recognise indicators of mental health, age-related vulnerability and low income, ensuring customers are thoroughly monitored throughout interactions. This prevents vulnerable consumers from falling into difficulties, and are referred to the appropriate support channels.
Our intuitive user interface also provides in-depth trend analysis, as well as improved decision-making in real time. This allows you to improve your internal processes, mitigate regulatory risk, and demonstrate your commitment to customer wellbeing to regulators and consumers alike.
With Rdentify, energy services can drive significant improvements in customer service for vulnerable groups, and offer valuable support to those at risk. Using customisable vulnerability scores, customer support agents can make quick, evidence-based decisions to protect both the end-user and your business, and strengthen your reputation as a trusted energy provider.
As the energy crisis continues, companies should be doing everything they can to deliver quality, seamless services for their customers as their bills continue to rise. Protecting vulnerable customers saves firms time and money, builds loyalty, and creates a truly competitive market for the future.
Rdentify has the power to improve customer service for energy suppliers, while enhancing in-house processes simultaneously. If you’d like to find out more about how our software can benefit your business, reach out to our experts today.