Did you know: 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience? (Oracle) Additionally, a customer who has had a bad experience is likely to tell 9-15 people about it! (Reputation Refinery)

Many utility companies in the UK have historically come under scrutiny for providing inadequate customer service, leaving customers feeling unsatisfied. In such a competitive market place, even the smallest grievance can be cause for customers to complain, or worse, switch provider. This has highlighted the need for effective customer service skills training across the utility sector.

In recent years, increased competition has led utility providers to switch their focus from price and product, to customer service and customer experience (CX). So how do you ensure you’re viewed as the best utility company for customer service? The selection of specialist customer service training courses from Accelerator Solutions provides your organisation with all the skills and tools to deliver exactly what your customers need, when they need it. Additionally, this blog has some tips on improving customer service across a utility business.

Why is customer service important for the utility sector?

Looking solely at the gas and electricity market in the UK, research states that a record 1 in 6 customers switched their energy supplier in 2017, and around 2.7m people switched their electricity supplier in the first half of 2018 alone (Energy UK).

In this competitive battleground, utility companies are not only coming up against fresh competition entering the market, but also higher customer expectations and a wealth of online advice for customers wanting to compare and switch their utility providers. Developing and enhancing your organisation’s customer experience through a customer service training course can mean:

  • Higher customer retention

  • Higher customer trust and loyalty

  • Increased sales and revenue growth

  • Higher market share

  • Increased morale in staff

How can utility companies improve their customer service?

Reduced customer effort

Research suggests that in order to achieve higher customer satisfaction, you must make customer actions as effortless as possible. While the bulk of this may fall within advances in technology and streamlining processes, it can also be addressed as a result of training customer service teams. A team trained to truly listen will solve problems quickly and respond with emotional intelligence (and your customers will benefit from a smoother and more satisfactory experience).

Getting it right the first time

Linking in with the above, customer satisfaction is likely to be much higher if issues and queries are dealt with in an efficient, effective manner. Nobody wants to spend their valuable free time having to make multiple calls/emails, so ensuring that your organisation delivers on its promises in a quick and effective manner is imperative. Follow-ups are also a great way of solidifying any action(s) taken, giving your customers the chance to highlight any problems, and ultimately letting them know that you care.

Being human

Although it may sound like a given, more and more consumers are putting high value on service that feels more personal and less robotic. Ensuring your customer service team can empathise with customers, give them a personalised experience, and diffuse any negativity in an emotionally intelligent manner, will help keep you in the customer good books.

Accelerator Solutions has a wealth of customer service training and customer insight options that can be tailored to the context of your utility company. Whether you’re looking to improve brand reputation, conflict handling techniques or increase role awareness of staff within your company for a smoother customer experience, let Accelerator Solutions provide you with the best customer service training for your unique set of needs.


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