2022 Customer Awards: E.ON Next - Keep Calm and Carry On

2022 Customer Awards: E.ON Next - Keep Calm and Carry On


Company: E.ON Next

Contact: Scott Smith

Title: Digital Operations Manager

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Kudos Category: Keep Calm and Carry On

1. How did your team shift your existing strategy using the Khoros platform to better engage customers during a crisis?

  • Demand increased by 1000% on 31st March compared to an average Thursday (from 1,150 average incoming chats to 12,700) due to the higher price cap prices starting the next day so questions around tariffs and prices following media coverage and customers wanting to provide meter reads. To add to this demand our website/app went offline (as did most energy suppliers that day) due to such high traffic.
  • Previously we’d dealt with all queries/customers the same way (unless emergencies) e.g. all the same priority and all colleagues working the longest wait first. We shifted to focusing on those wanting to give a meter read as we knew they’d start to panic and possibly repeat contact/try other contact methods if they’d not received a response that day.
  • We also wanted to be pro-active with these customers to reassure them that whilst the website/app were offline we had a week to enter the meter readings.

2. What operational processes did you create or change to respond in a time of crisis?

  • Tags were a crucial part of our plan at this time - placing 50% of our agents onto the meter reading tags. This allowed them to work together to create templates and get through these simpler messages quickly
  • We were able to update our auto response to reassure customers if they sent us their reading in a message, we will get to it and enter it for the 31st even if it was picked up after - this prevented repeat demand/reassured customers 
  • After a public tweet replying to a customer picked up a lot of attention, we were able to use manage view to deal the public tweets separately as a leadership team and close any not requiring a response, keeping our specialists free to respond to customers who really needed us
  • Marketing were able to post regular public posts throughout the day updating customers on the website issues, reassuring customers they had a week to provide reads and addressing the tweet that was receiving a lot of attention.
  • Use of analytics allowed us to provide live updates to the teams and wider business on demand, wait times and sentiment. We were able to set and adapt goals throughout the day with hourly updates

3. What success metrics did you use to determine if your shifts in strategy and process had the desired outcomes? What were those quantifiable outcomes?

  • Whilst demand increased by 1000% we responded to 192% more customers than an average Thursday - with only a 30% increase in hours worked. Our overall AHT decreased by 6 minutes - massively helped by having teams working the ‘quick win’ tags. Whilst our average ASA increased by almost 7 hours because of the pro-active messaging to reassure customers on our welcome response we saw 40% of customers switch from a negative to a positive sentiment, 2% higher than average.
  • We also saw a 12,000% increase in the public messages sent to us (27 on an average Thursday, 3,313 on the 31st March) so by managing these in a separate view and asking leaders to focus on closing those not needing a response we kept our agents focused on where they were needed most.
  • Throughout the day we were able to engage with colleagues and ask for ideas on how to help our customers best. This engagement combined with the regular updates meant whilst colleagues were busier and felt the pressure more than ever, they remained motivated and happy. This was measured through our colleague happiness scores which remained consistent throughout.
  • Continuing to use all the new processes meant we were able to clear the backlog (and increased demand over the next week) within 10 days without having to auto-close or leave any customers who needed it without an answer.