Utility Week

UW October Digital edition

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

Issue link: https://fhpublishing.uberflip.com/i/1290983

Contents of this Issue


Page 27 of 43

28 | OCTOBER 2020 | UTILITY WEEK Customers Analysis So Energy Founded in 2015 by two former Macquarie traders, Simon Oscro and Charlie Davies, So Energy (SE) has ranked in the top five of the Citizens Advice star ratings tables for ten straight quarters. Oscro explains to Utility Week that the company was set up in the midst of wide- spread public dissatisfaction with energy suppliers and sought to offer an alternative approach. It started off with a wholesale trading agreement in place so was able to hedge itself straight away. It also acts as its own gas shipper, so it makes cost savings by not hav- ing to rely on a third party. Oscro believes lower operational costs, and the big six being hampered by legacy systems, is what allows SE to outcompete them on customer service. "That is really where the big six have his- torically struggled. They haven't developed their systems over the past 20 years as we have done by implementing new systems and new processes fit for where we are – with a modern website with self-serve func- tionality built in. They have struggled with those problems." SE uses Gentrack's Junifer billing plat- form, which Oscro notes is used by suppli- ers at both ends of the spectrum in customer services rankings. SE's key to success is building processes around existing systems to allow for a more tailored approach. "It's oen the way you build your pro- cesses around the systems you have. We have centralised a lot of our systems, Gentrack is one that pulls into our centralised system called The Ark and it allows us to automate more issues and build tools for our analysts to manage. When we get issues from a cus- tomer perspective we can automatically fix these things. It allows us to do more bespoke communications, more bespoke customer journeys. We use the central Gentrack plat- form but we actually do a lot around the edges that links data from many sources, and not just the billing system, for optimised cus- tomer journeys." For SE, seeing problems from the cus- tomer perspective and resolving any issues before they result in a phone call is para- mount. Oscro cites a mix of people, pro- cesses and systems as being the key to the company's success in creating more tailored customer journeys. He continues: "Where you can automate issues and fixes and prevent what we call failure demand, so trying to solve problems before the customer calls you up, it's clearly the best way." The company now plans to offer more ser- vices to existing and potential customers. Its recent move into the solar and battery mar- kets highlight how the newer entrants are vying to be more than just power and gas suppliers – they are tech-minded retailers. SE began installing solar panels in March and is aiming to install 50 in Q3 this year, aer a Covid-induced slowdown. He continues: "We are having customers looking at us for solutions, clearly as one of the more agile, tech-enabled, customer- focused suppliers we are in a position where it is really important for us to be providing these solutions to customers." In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and increasingly high public expectations, best practice in customer service is more crucial than ever. That is why Utility Week has launched a new series of interviews with suppliers ranked highly in customer service league tables, who share their secrets of success. Here, the leaders of three of these companies speak to Adam John. Customer Centric: How challenger brands connect with consumers Simon Oscroft (left) and Charlie Davies, founders, So Energy

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Utility Week - UW October Digital edition