Utility Week

UTILITY Week 30th June 2017

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

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UTILITY WEEK | 30TH JUNE - 6TH JULY 2017 | 25 Customers Paul Spence, director of corporate strategy, EDF Energy "Energy suppliers compete fiercely. There is always a risk industry-wide action is misinterpreted. We can each innovate to serve customers better and build trust. Working together is more complex." Views from the table: 1. Regulator input Utilities want to work with the regu- lators, rather than battle against them. Communication is key. 2. Get politicians on side Setting out a vision to improve trust and customer ser- vice should deflect attacks from MPs. 3. Clarity is key Remove the jargon on bills. 4. Engage and edu- cate consumers The more informed customers are, the greater their under- standing of the sector, and what it is doing for them. Achieving this will help to remove some of the myths that have been built up. 5. 'No wrong door' Calls should pass seamlessly to the right department or company, without the need for multiple calls or explanations from customers. Discussion points Victoria MacGregor, director of energy, Citizens Advice "The customer does not care who they speak to. They have a problem and want it fixed. The sector should work on the principle that there is no wrong door to get things solved." Matt Rudling, director – customer services, UK Power Networks "Whatever the service, the transition for customers to get the information they need should be seamless and invisible. Collabo- ration to ensure cus- tomers are not passed around and get what they need would build trust." Jane Taylor, head of customer service, Anglian Water "Trust is not just about pricing – look at the supermarkets where it is based on price and service. " Andy Eadle, head of customer services, First Utility "Problems can take longer to fix in energy than many indus- tries because of the back-end complexity. But customers don't understand that – nor should they." Ian Belfield, senior vice president – utilities, WNS "There is a lot of complexity in the whole switching environment. Lots of people struggle to understand which is the cheapest tariff for them. Simplicity is the key to encour- age more customers to engage with the switching process." Sponsored by

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