Operational Excellence in #Energy – UGP’s 100 Club!
The operational aspect of any #utilities company is fundamental to the delivery of a seamless, hassle-free service to its customers. At #UGP, we believe that customer care is an attitude, not just a department and we focus heavily on the development and investment in our operational support teams.
On Friday 8th November, our Customer Services, Onboarding and Metering and Billing/Credit Control teams got together at a local venue to collectively share and celebrate their successes in 2019.
In this post, we share some of the highlights from that day:
THE CUSTOMER SERVICES TEAM HIGHLIGHTS
The customer services team sits at the heart of UGP’s operational hub and over the past year, our focus on customer service excellence has led to some impressive stats.
Resolving customer queries promptly and accurately has always been a focus for the team, and we’re delighted to welcome the CS team to the 100 club after reporting 2 consecutive months of 100% query resolution within SLA for September and October.
Another key win for the team relates to the complaint resolution process. Customer Services Manager, Adam Wilson and his team have focused on the development a new, more efficient complaints handling process that has catapulted the number of complaints resolved within SLA from an impressive 92% in June, to an outstanding 100% in October.
UGP’s Onboarding and Metering team deals predominantly with the process of customers switching their energy supply to UGP and with metering enquiries. One of the key challenges this presents relates to “disputed reads”. Often, a customer’s past energy company will produce a final bill based on an estimated read, which can cause a multitude of issues for the customer.
At UGP, we’ve enhanced our “disputed reads” process, acting proactively on behalf of our new customers, we ensure they’re starting their contract with UGP on the very best, accurate footing.
In July, 85% of our disputed reads were resolved within SLA. By October, the Supplier Hub team joined the 100 club - boasting 100% of disputed reads resolved within SLA.
BILLING TEAM HIGHLIGHTS
Accurate, on-time billing is a key enabler for the success of any energy business, and it’s unfortunately where some suppliers fall short, often over billing, or under billing – both of which cause significant inconvenience to the business and customer.
An efficient billing operation has a direct and positive impact on customer satisfaction, competitiveness and ultimately loyalty.
As a business, we’ve always set the bar high. With an industry leading target of 98%, our monthly average for the first half of 2019 came in at 99%. On Friday the team were delighted to share that October’s billing rate had hit the ultimate 100% - an achievement we’re incredibly proud to share.
Customer debt is an unfortunate but inevitable consequence of being in business. It’s unhelpful, not only to our cash flow, but for the customer – the consequences of avoiding debt issues can be catastrophic. Healthy management of credit and arrears situations, while maintaining strong customer relationships is a delicate balance, and one we treat with the utmost of care.
On Friday, the credit control team reported reducing overall debt by 70% over a five- month period. Working with our customers to build solutions and arrangements to resolving these issues is great for us, and importantly great for the customer.
“Each individual within the operational department has been instrumental in helping us to achieve these incredible, industry-leading records. We’ve spent time analysing our processes, questioned where we can do better through the implementation of key KPI’s and then taken appropriate measures to ensure that we’re consistently hitting the 100% mark of excellence. We’ve made sure that team members are cross-trained in multiple disciplines to avoid “passing the buck” and as a result we’re delighting our customers with happy, engaged teams that truly work together”. Alicia Hayes, Head of Operations at United Gas & Power