In the Spring of 2016, one of the ‘Big Six’ energy companies, Scottish Power, which has a total of 3.2 million customers, was handed a massive £18m fine by regulatory body Ofgem (office of gas and electricity markets). This is the third largest fine given to an energy provider to date.
Scottish Power attracted more than one million customer complaints over a 2 year period, between June 2013 and December 2015, which lead to a scathing review by Ofgem into the treatment of its customers. The regulator said the energy giant had failed to provide even the basic level of customer service and its treatment was “discernibly worse” than its peers.
An Ofgem investigation found, in particular, issues at Scottish Power over call handling, complaint resolution and billing. With customers having to wait too long for their calls to be answered and complaints were being handled poorly and too long to resolve, Ofgem said that this was unacceptable.
More than 300,000 customers received late final bills, meaning some did not promptly receive money they were owed.
Scottish Power blamed a new IT system for its failings and apologised “unreservedly” to those customers affected.
Scottish Power said that now its new IT system was in place “our service performance has significantly improved”. But has it invested in the right technology to provide world-class customer service?
A fully integrated IT system will allow real time and up to date data. This is essential for all elements of the organisation. It will vastly improve productivity, reduce risks and errors and provide better communication.
Choosing an IT partner who specialises in contact centres and customer service excellence is key in choosing and implementing a new IT system and ensure the solution does not have a detrimental effect on the business as a whole while it is being implemented.
Using an IT partner with accredited project managers and systems engineers will enable you to ‘keep your customers happy’ and your business away from the headlines!