Resetting customer relationships Resetting the relationship with our customers
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“Having returned to the UK as CEO in October 2011, I was struck very forcibly that as an industry we had lost customers’ trust. I believed nothing short of a radical solution was called for.” Tony Cocker, E.ON UK
“Much of what we do appeared confusing and complex to customers, and prices were rising without any real explanation. We needed to reset our relationship with customers.”
Over the course of six months, we had a single question in mind: what is best for our customers? From tariffs to bills, from selling methods to payment, it was our most comprehensive review.
The creation of a single sheet bill – a first for our industry, launching Best E.ON Deal for You, a price promise, making all products available through all sales channels and scrapping premium rate numbers are examples of how we’ve listened and promptly actioned what our customers have asked for – clear, simple information.
It’s early days, but uSwitch.com named us the UK’s number one energy supplier for customer satisfaction in December 2012, after we boosted customer satisfaction by 10% during 2012. In January 2013 we were ranked joint leader of the larger energy companies in a Which? customer satisfaction survey.
We started with engaging and listening to our customers, not our processes as we have traditionally. Over a six-month period we spoke to thousands of customers through our YourSay panel and customer forums, and we set up an independent Customer Council – a first for our sector. We also engaged a number of well-known consumer advocacy groups, such as Which? and Consumer Focus to pressure test our results.
We needed to act as energy companies are accused of being faceless, bureaucratic and just interested in profits. Yet without the millions of customers we serve we wouldn’t get very far at all.[/one_half_last]
The six month review was intensive: consultation with customers, advocacy groups, colleagues and our Customer Council gave us clarity on what we needed to achieve. But in these early stages there was less clarity on how we would achieve our goals. Expectation soon changed to frustration to act more quickly. This was partly offset by delivering first on what mattered most to our customers even if this created difficult decisions impacting colleagues and costing us money.
We also still don’t get the right things right 100% of the time – we’ve got to get better to win back trust
Our Reset Review was all about listening and challenging what we had always done, then taking action by making tough decisions and taking risks: Our single focus has become: is this right for our customers?
The enthusiasm for this throughout our company is tangible. Many colleagues who were previously frustrated in their efforts to help customers say they’re already having different, more positive, conversations with our customers.
“We all need to understand what we’re paying for and the changes made by E.ON will make that a lot easier for its customers.” Allan Leighton, Chair of our independent Customer Council.[/one_half_last]
Head of Business Transformation
Vijay has over 15 years experience in commercial, financial and transformational roles. Currently Vijay is Head of Business Transformation at E.ON UK, leading the strategic change, resourcing and performance management optimisation of our operations which serve nearly 5m customers. Previously Vijay was the Programme Director for Reset, reporting to E.ON UK’s CEO, where he was accountable for accelerating E.ON’s customer transformation within a challenging and intense 6 month period. During this time he established E.ON UK’s independent Customer Council. Vijay is a suffering supporter of Liverpool FC, as well as coaching and playing football himself.