Guest Blog: npower’s Wayne Mitchell on Solutions for Businesses

Providing the solutions that businesses need today (and tomorrow) Back in the dark ages, energy companies were monopolies that would provide energy to customers who often didn’t even know who […]

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By Geoff Curran

Providing the solutions that businesses need today (and tomorrow)

Back in the dark ages, energy companies were monopolies that would provide energy to customers who often didn’t even know who was supplying them (unless you were the person in accounts who happened to pay the bill).

The energy suppliers wouldn’t know very much about their customers either – other than their consumption data.

What a difference a few decades makes!

The other day, I spent a very enjoyable few hours talking to some of our medium-sized business customers. We’d invited them to meet with us specifically because I and other members of our senior team wanted to hear about their energy needs. Also, what they liked – or disliked – about npower, and what they felt made the difference between a good customer experience and an exceptional experience.

Increasing costs make energy more visible

Listening to our customers and understanding their needs is a key driver for us today. The market is changing so much, and our role has become far more about providing the support and the solutions to help businesses buy and use energy as efficiently as possible.

The dramatic change in the energy landscape has also had a big impact on consumers. Increasing costs and growing levels of environmental regulation and taxation have made it impossible for businesses not to sit up and take more notice of how they use energy.

Our customers also tell us they need help understanding all the changes – from Electricity Market Regulation to the case for onsite generation.

Focus on solutions

It’s this need for clear intelligence as well as more intelligent solutions that has promoted us to reconsider how we package what we offer. And as we shift more into an energy solutions role, we’ve decided to reflect that transition in our name.

So instead of referring to ourselves after as the main customer-base we serve – ie Industrial & Commercial – we’ve changed our name to npower Business Solutions.

Our operating model is unique for what has traditionally been a supply-based business. Under our new name, we will maintain our goal of helping customers use less energy, whether that’s through improved efficiency or even bypassing supply by going off-grid.

We’ll also continue evolving our market-leading role helping customers buy energy more effectively, and my colleague Ben Spry, who heads up our award-winning Optimisation Desk, will talk about how his team is facilitating this in the coming weeks.

Giving customers a voice

Our name, as well as our focus on solutions-based products and services, is always influenced by input from our customers. I mentioned one of the many face-to-face sessions we run above. But we also consult customers via our online community panel, Business Voice.

Business Voice provides a forum for customers to share their views on a variety of topics – from our name and service to bill design and communication methods. You can find out more and join the panel here. And we’ll be launching a panel specifically for consultants in the coming weeks, so watch out for news on this.

We’ll also continue our regular programme of webinars and events to help educate and inform customers, as well as ensuring consumers have a voice.

The key for us now is working more closely in partnership with our customers. So if you have any comments or suggestions for how we can do better, do please let me know via [email protected]

This is a sponsored article.