Energy Price Cap: 5 ways to help customers
On October 1st, the energy price cap will jump by 12%, costing millions of households £1,277 per year (on typical use).
This increase – combined with chaos in the utility sector, which has already seen seven energy suppliers going out of business – is driving consumers to contact their suppliers; for reassurance, better deals and payment solutions.
While the contact is unavoidable, there are ways energy firms can use existing channels and communications to help give customers information and take the pressure off front-line teams. Here’s our top five:
1. IVR: Add an alert message to the top of your IVR and change it daily
Having a clear, reassuring message at the top of your IVR is your best opportunity to acknowledge your customers and their needs, at a critical point of contact.
- Tone of voice: Calm and reassuring – empathise
- Keep your message short – 20 seconds max
- Make it clear how and where customers can access help
- Use positive sentiment – ‘best place… fastest… help’ etc
- Avoid long URLs. It’s better to say ‘go to Acme.com and search ‘best tariffs’ in the search bar’
- Set expectations about what advisors ‘here on the phone’ can help with
- Update your message daily, so that it clearly addresses anything you know customers are hearing in the news
2. IVR: Tell callers the best way they can access your cheapest tariffs
If your cheapest tariffs need to be bought online, use a helpful deflection message to steer customers there. This will help drive happy hang ups and in return, reduce both queue build-up and AHT.
Customer success: This week, we helped one of our energy clients reduce calls to agents by 29%. Just with one simple IVR deflection, that promoted online tariffs and help, right at the top of the IVR.
3. Online: Add a banner to the top of your home page
Adding a banner alert to the top of your homepage is the simplest and easiest way to show customers they can access information online about the price cap and how to get to your best tariffs. This will keep customers in the digital channel, by giving them information and links to everything they need help with.
4. Social media: Give your Social Team good scripts to tackle any service problems
It’s inevitable that some customers will hit social media. To keep stress levels down, give your Social Team scripts that answer key customer questions about your service – put the emphasis on service communication, over more typical marketing and social promotion.
Ensure your Social advisors know how to:
- Empathise and say sorry
- Set expectations about how they can help (or not)
- Share the best days and times to call or chat with your contact centre
- Frame online help, apps and URLs in the most appropriate way
- Steer customers to the best tariffs
5. Chatbot: Get a simple FAQs bot live, to answer questions and promote the best tariffs
FAQ helper bots are brilliant at answering simple questions. They can often be the fastest way customers can get both answers and reassurance. As long as you keep bot conversations simple and straightforward and prioritise getting customers fast answers, you can keep your customers in the digital channel.
If you want more ideas, get in touch with the team via firstname.lastname@example.org