Since 2019, Insite Energy has transformed the quality of the customer service it provides, becoming the best performing heat network metering & billing company in the UK. In the process, we have set new standards for the whole energy sector. This is an achievement we are proud of, and one that has been consistently appreciated by our clients and customers in over one-thousand 5-star reviews on Trustpilot.
Now, the judges of the coveted UK Customer Experience Awards 2021 have also recognised our outstanding service, selecting Insite as a finalist in two prize categories: ‘Contact Centre – Small’ and ‘Customer Experience for SMEs’. The awards, which cover all industry sectors, highlight organisations that are leading their field in customer service.
The shortlisting comes as a result of a highly successful year-long project, launched in 2019, to restructure and digitally transform Insite’s customer service operations. Known internally as the ‘Best-in-Class Service Provider’ programme, the initiative set out to deliver a consistently positive customer experience through the opening of a brand-new contact centre in Peterborough, the creation of a new customer-focused website complete with webchat service, and investing in state-of-the-art back-office IT systems.
Insite’s Group Operations Director, Gareth Copland, who led the project, explains, “We wanted to ensure that when customers needed to speak to us, it was quick and easy to do so, and that their issue could be resolved fast. The impact of investing in our new contact centre and digital transformation initiative to aid ‘self-service’ for our customers has been dramatic and rapid.”
The initiative exceeded all its own targets and Insite was quickly catapulted to the top-performer spot on Trustpilot, with an ‘Excellent’ rating of 4.7 stars, up from just one star in 2018.
Average call waiting times dropped from nine minutes in 2018 to just 53 seconds in 2020 (against a target of three minutes), while the number of people registering a complaint fell to less than 1% of our customer base (against a target of 2%). We’ve conducted over 1,500 live webchats with customers since Mar 2020 and an impressive 86% of email enquiries are now resolved within 24 hours (compared to just 32% in 2018 and our target of 80%).
Our customers are now conducting many more of their interactions with us through our self-service portal. Forty per cent of our resident move-in/out notifications are now carried out via webforms, 60% of welcome brochures are issued electronically, and 15% of customers have opted for e-billing.
Thanks to our technology investment, we can now monitor our customers’ site connectivity, allowing us to react to outages far more quickly. We’ve sped up our awareness from an average of 30 days to within 30 minutes of receiving an email alert. We use this information to notify affected residents through temporary alerts added to our housing-scheme-specific microsites. This, combined with the wealth of information and services available to customers via our websites, has contributed to a 55% drop in customer queries through calls and emails, from 103,623 in 2018 to 46,250 in 2020 (against a target of 50,000).
By adopting a double-shift working pattern in our new contact centre, we have been able to extend our opening hours to the longest in the market, without increasing hours worked by individuals. This, in turn, has further increased the speed with which we can respond to queries.
Our helpdesk representatives are also happy to be working in a high-performance team, as is evidenced by the fact that not a single person left during 2020 – a dramatic turnaround compared to our 2018 employee churn rate of 167%. This means we are retaining valuable skills and experience which further enhance performance, as well as delivering knock-on benefits for recruitment and retention across our organisation. Thanks to our culture of teamwork and continuous improvement, our staff tell us they are now proud to work at Insite.
Our customers are happy too. Customer churn has reduced significantly, from 7.5% in 2018 to 1.25% in 2020, versus a 3% target, and our residential customer base has grown by 19% since 2019.
Says Copland, “It’s a testament to the quality of our people that all these big achievements were accomplished on time and under budget. The relocation of our call centre away from Central London and a change in technology suppliers have also generated substantial savings, meaning we can offer excellent value as well as excellent service to our clients. Getting an endorsement from the judges of the UK Customer Experience Awards that the quality of the customer service we provide is genuinely outstanding is the icing on the cake!”