In a sector low on trust how do you keep hold of customers?
Ken McCaig, Head of Retention at Total Gas & Power, says it’s all about being agile, flexible and, most importantly, transparent. He proudly boasts of a 99% customer retention rate for I&C (large business) customers who deal directly with them, a staggering figure that many energy suppliers would be envious of.
Mr McCaig said: “We’re able to react very quickly to get things done. In an ever-changing market, products have to remain current and to do that we have to be transparent so customers understand that what we’re providing is fair, balanced and fit for purpose.”
Total only supplies the business sector and that means they can work in partnership with their customers which is maybe why so many stay with them.
He said: “Because we’re not a domestic supplier we can focus very clearly on the SME and I&C markets. We don’t have a long, drawn-out process to design and implement new products that reflect the changing needs of customers.
“We work closely with customers to ensure we have ongoing dialogue as well as the timely delivery of information to support critical business decisions.”
So it’s clear a focus on the customer is vital and having only business customers does help them to tailor a specific service but Mr McCaig says showing an interest is the most important thing: “We don’t just sell contracts and hope that in three years time the customer renews with us. We work with customers to really understand their businesses.
“This way if there is a market change or a situation within the company that means, for example, the appetite for risk changes or it has a new budget requirement, then we can work and act quickly to reflect that change in our arrangement with them.”
And the final key to keeping customers? Well that’s the simplest thing of all but something so many companies fail at it.
He said: “Our National Account Managers remain in close contact with our customers to ensure they are aware of any changing customer requirements.
“One of our customers was experiencing problems with its meter providers and network operator. We worked with the customer, bringing the gas distributor on site along with our technical metering manager to review the configuration of the metering. It became clear that the quality of some of the gas infrastructure was not fit for purpose.
“We achieved a conclusion whereby the company received the latest technology to improve its accuracy of billing and consumption, and the customer was delighted with the outcome”.
So how would he sum up Total Gas & Power’s key differentiator?
“It’s our job to add value to the customer.”
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