People should judge suppliers on their customer service, believes business energy supplier GDF SUEZ.
In an increasingly complex energy marketplace, customer service is becoming one of the key areas of competition for energy suppliers, suggests the energy provider and should be something everyone pays attention to.
Practical ways of boosting how suppliers deal with their clients are even more important, GDF SUEZ Energy UK says that’s why it launched a new “vision” in January 2012, with all non-manager level employees taking a two-day ‘First impressions’ course.
It’s not just staff manning the phones and dealing with customers day to day who are important to building relationships, says the firm. Senior management also take the lead and get involved in the whole process. All of GDF SUEZ Energy UK’s managers and directors take a three-day course, which focuses on leading teams to deliver excellent service.
David Park, Director of UK Retail says the experience has been really valuable: “The senior management team were keen to be fully involved in all the training initiatives, both to learn how we could improve and to demonstrate the importance we were placing on delivering an exceptional customer experience. It’s rewarding to see that our customer service drive has been so wholeheartedly embraced by everyone in the business.”
Getting an outside, expert opinion on customer service has also reaped rewards, says Alison Hardman, Training and Development Officer: “We joined the Institute of Customer Service, which provides best practice advice and works with us to help raise service standards. It also offers training courses, which we have adapted for our own use and are now delivering to every member of staff, including all the senior management team.”
The company is planning further qualifications-based courses to maintain momentum and ensure customer service remains at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
GDF SUEZ Energy UK says that its clear dedication to service excellence played a big role in the decision to sponsor the I&C Best Customer Service Award at this year’s Energy Live Consultancy Awards. The TELCAs are an exciting new set of awards highlighting the best consultants and brokers working in Britain.
David adds: “The positive effects of the renewed service focus are already being seen in the way we communicate internally and externally and the prominence given to customer service in all discussions about product and business development.”