Case Study: EDF Energy

How we help EDF Energy to save up to 12,000 days of customer and agent time on tariff enquiries

The Problem

EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies, supplying gas and electricity to around 6 million business and residential customer accounts across the country.

The UK energy market is highly competitive, making high-quality customer service a critical differentiator. Energy retailers also face strict regulation from independent body Ofgem.

But with EDF Energy’s customer-facing contact centre facing high levels of demand from customers enquiring across a huge range of topics, from insulation through to price changes, providing a consistent, rapid and quality experience across multiple channels of communications became challenging.

A significant part of this challenge stems from customers calling up to renew their energy tariffs, with each of these enquiries lasting 15-20 minutes on average. This led to all customers having to wait long periods in a mixed-enquiry contact centre queue, regardless of subject matter.
To improve service levels for its customers EDF Energy needed to rapidly deploy a solution. However, its current suppliers were unable to meet EDF Energy’s increasing requirements to reduce operating costs, or to deliver to the stringent deadline.

The Solution

Content Guru used its storm “Communications Integration”™ platform to rapidly scope out, plan and deploy an automated contact centre solution within weeks. storm’s cloud model ensures that EDF Energy only pays on a recurring, affordable OpEx basis rather than having to make large capital investments, enabling EDF Energy to stay well within budget. With all technology already live in the cloud, the service was rapidly customised; EDF Energy now manually refines the solution without having to contact a provider and wait for weeks for a simple change.

By seamlessly layering over EDF Energy’s existing contact centre system, storm enables any number of tariff enquiries to be seamlessly handled at the same time, even during huge traffic peaks. Through secure automated Identification & Verification (ID&V) technology, customers completely self-service, using an intuitive automated contact centre script to change or renew tariffs, or can route through to a live agent.

storm’s real-time reporting software automatically generates reports which back-office workers used to complete the tariff process. Integration with EDF Energy’s tariff databases is on the roadmap, which will enable this to be fully automated.

By cutting down tariff enquiries by 11-16 minutes on average, and with 60-70% of customers fully self-serviced through storm, EDF Energy will save up to 12,000 days’ worth of customer and agent time in 2015. This frees up EDF Energy’s contact centre for other interactions, enabling it to increase customer service levels.

EDF Energy Testimonial

“EDF Energy has maintained a strong working relationship with Content Guru since 2008 when the company initially leveraged the storm platform’s automated contact centre and mass alerting capabilities. We needed to deliver our automated renewal service on a tight timescale, and other providers were unable to satisfy this—or to provide a cost-effective solution. CG exceeded our expectations by delivering the project end-to-end in less than a month, enabling us to go live with a service that’s set to save our customers—and our agents—280,000 hours throughout 2015. We now deliver a more efficient service to our customers making it easier for them to renew their gas and electricity tariffs. ”

John Bailey, Telephony Optimisation Manager, EDF Energy

Before

  • EDF Energy processes millions of enquiries through its contact centres every year, with all customers processed in the same queue, even for routine tariff requests.
  • With each tariff renewal taking 15–20 minutes on average, customers with more specific enquiries could find themselves waiting in a contact queue for huge periods of time.
  • Agents and back-end staff had to manually update systems with customer information, which would take up further time and could result in incorrect information being relayed.
  • EDF Energy needed a system that could be rapidly implemented to meet operational demands, but also with enough agility for administrators to make real-time adjustments to services and flex to changing circumstances.

After

  • Tariff renewals are now treated by storm’s automated contact centre, enabling 15–20 minutes 60-70% of customers to completely self-service and reducing the need for live agent involvement.
  • storm reduces average contact time to 2 minutes enabling customers to update tariffs far more rapidly and freeing up agents to handle non-routine interactions.
  • storm VIEW automatically produces detailed, reports, enabling back-office staff to quickly input tariff information within 2 minutes on average, reducing total handling time by 11-16 minutes.
  • storm provides EDF Energy with an agile and more affordable cloud-based service which can scale to meet any spikes in demand. The solution was rapidly deployed ahead of schedule and allows EDF Energy administrators to make immediate changes to the service.

How it Works

1. Customers call into the storm service.
2. storm’s automated contact centre technology fields any simultaneous volume of transactions.
2a. storm VIEW automatically produces reports.
2b. Customer chooses to route through to a live agent.
2c. During the next phase of the project storm INTEGRATE will be used to link with EDF Energy’s tariff databases, allowing full automation.
3. The report is downloaded by back-office staff.
4. These staff members update the client’s account.
5. Customer is re-routed to the EDF Energy contact centre to process the renewal.
6. Contact centre agent updates the client account.
7. EDF Energy administrator is able to manually refine the service using storm FLOW.

Learn More

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