Company: E.ON Next Contact: Scott Smith Title: Digital Operations Manager Kudos Category: Rookie of the Year 1. Describe your company and your organization.
We're an electricity and gas supplier that wants to make a big difference, and we want customers to come along with us. We’re creating culture of freedom and responsibility where our energy specialist are the experts and most important part of our business. We supply 100% renewable electricity at no extra cost and are passionate about sustainability. We take a fresh approach to being an energy supplier (that’s why we’re not just E.ON - the Next is important!). Our mission is to become a digital first energy partner that keep things simple. We believe that together, by continuing to take little step by little step, and awesome day by awesome day, we can make a better, brighter tomorrow as well as a great big difference. We currently have 5.6 million customers, many of which were migrated to us from NPower, E.ON and other smaller suppliers over a period of 2 years.
2. Why did you choose to invest in Khoros and what was your experience before making the switch from a previous solution or investing in new technology.
We used the same platform for both email and social media conversations with our customers however this had many limitations such as:
Unable to service public social media requests (these were done directly through our social media accounts which caused issues with the social media platform)
Limited reporting and insight
Unable to respond to customers after certain time periods with a manual process needed again by logging in manually
Basic abilities to prioritise work streams and tag different queries
As a digital first company we needed a platform that delivered a first class service for our customers, allowing us to plan, forecast and analyse our demand to make strategic decisions going forward.
We also wanted to work with a company who understood our vision of customer first and were on the front foot of digital customer service opening up new opportunities to explore for our customers.
3. What were your goals when investing in Khoros technology and what successes have you already experienced because of the investment? Were you able to gain traction faster than expected? Please include metrics if possible.
Our aim was to transition our 150 staff over to the new platform over a 2 month period, with an initial trial period for one team. This moved much quicker than expected after the trial period went so well. We also had heavy recruitment into the area and were soon at 450 Khoros users.
Staff and customers very quickly got on board with the new way of working, with short training sessions and dedicated support, staff were quickly able to get to grips with the new system. Customers noticed minimal disruption and were quickly able to benefit from the new features such as switching from public to private in the same conversation.
We’ve been able to use the analysis tools to start forecasting for both BAU activity and the bigger events such as price cap, allowing us to be on the front foot for our customers.
Analysis also allows us to update the rest of the wider business on key trends in terms of topics customers are contacting us about as well as focus upskilling and training for our teams where needed.
The manage views have also helped our leaders track the quality and compliance of conversations and provide live coaching to our energy specialists.
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Company: E.ON Next Contact: Scott Smith Title: Digital Operations Manager Related URLs: 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.
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