Smarter data super-charges customer satisfaction

Britain’s biggest electricity distribution grid is making smarter use of customer feedback to improve customer service.

UK Power Networks has risen in the Institute of Customer Service UK Customer Satisfaction Index rankings from 14th in its sector to 4th across all service organisations among companies such as Amazon, John Lewis and Apple.

The company studies customer satisfaction data gathered during regular surveys and engagement events, as part of its drive to provide the best customer service.

When the data showed that accuracy of information had the strongest impact on customers’ experience, the company switched away from static estimates of when power would be back on during power cuts. It now uses dynamic estimates compiled from five-year rolling data, based on actual local restoration times. Customers receive far more accurate estimates about when their power will be restored. This gives customers confidence in the information given, as the company aims to reduce the changes in the given restoration times. A data-driven approach to restoration times means the company has reduced the number of customers with more than three restoration times by 10%.

Field teams have received additional training to understand what customers want to know from on-site, which helps to drive a culture of regular information updates to keep customers up to date. To enable better management of real time customer experiences, live incident dashboards were introduced for customer services and field staff managers. These show how many times Estimated Times of Restoration have changed, where incident durations may exceed what has been forecast and highlight repeat issues so the teams can prioritise actions, tailor customer care to meet individual needs and improve services.

Hannah Ngoma, Head of Customer Change at UK Power Networks, says: “This project is an example of how we are using customer analytics and data to improve services.

“Customers need confidence in the information we give about when their power will be restored, which is the most important factor driving customer satisfaction during power cuts. Data is enabling us to make the power restoration timeframe more dynamic by area.

“We are increasing customer numbers reconnected within the original timeframe and reducing the number of times we need to change the estimated restoration time.”

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