Case Study: UK Power Networks
How we help UK Power Networks to continue serving their customers, even if the lights go out.
“Content Guru has been a pleasure to work with from the outset, delivering a solution focused directly on our most pressing needs. The results have been even better and more far-reaching than we had hoped for. The regulators have been impressed by the speed and scale of the improvements, while our call handling agents are also feeling the benefits. Most importantly our customers are satisfied, and this has had the knock on effect of enhancing our brand and reputation in the industry.”
Romolo Falcucci, Telephony & Reporting Manager, UK Power Networks
When the lights go out at home, the lights on the switchboard come on. UK Power Networks needed to address the spikes in call volumes coming into their contact centre. Their aim was to provide constant customer service even when the customer’s power supply was interrupted. This was important for the company both to best serve its customers, and to satisfy Ofgem, the regulator governing electricity Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) in the UK which imposes fines reaching into the millions on companies which fail to meet its standards.
UK Power Networks needed an intelligent communications solution, without incurring the massive costs which would have resulted from expanding its existing contact centre.
We then developed a custom interface integrated with the network control system ‘ENMAC’, which monitors the electricity grid for faults in real-time. UK Power Networks uses this interface to update its call flows based on current information about faults on its power network.
The solution grew to include inbound and outbound SMS, to enable customers to pro-actively request text alerts on power cuts in their postcode area. Customers can also chat with agents via SMS.
storm’s real-time wallboard in the cloud gives UK Power Networks a unified view of its estate, and helps it to optimise communication with customers across multiple channels.
- As one of the UK’s largest electricity distributors, with approximately 8 million customer homes and businesses, UK Power Networks needed an extensive contact centre estate.
- Although it has a large pool of agents and powerful premise-based infrastructure, the contact centre receives thousands of calls during power outages.
- If outages did occur, customers wanted to find out relevant information immediately, but could not always get through. Some would call up repeatedly and were frustrated by queuing.
- Ofgem, the industry regulator, imposes fines of up to £10m on suppliers whose customer service is below a certain level, and offers rewards of up to £10m for outstanding performers to invest in their networks.
- Due to efficiency gains in its contact centre operations, UK Power Networks was able to provide much higher standards of service while keeping control of its cost base.
- On average 35% callers get the information they need from self-service interactive voice response (IVR), rising to 60% at peak times. Agents are freed up for other customer service activities.
- Pro-active, personalised SMS alerts to customers about outages in their area reduced response times to 9 seconds and halved the number of repeat callers.
- UK Power Networks is now enhancing customer service and the perception of its brand, and is moving towards rewards for improvements to its customer satisfaction scores and abandoned call rates.
How it Works
- Rapid touch-screen service building and provisioning of custom messages
- Integration with ENMAC provides current information on faults in network.
- Relevant information given to customers via SMS.
- Customers access information automatically via IVR and SMS. Customers can also request a call back.
- Any enquiries not handled automatically are routed to the contact centre, currently via premise-based ACD; call-back requests are prioritised to ensure agent availability.
- Unified real-time and historical reporting across contact centre operations and end-user access methods.