Partnering with 1st Energy to deliver premier customer service with every interaction.
Delivering first-rate customer service at the most competitive price is the tight-rope that every single energy retailer walks. Standing out as a start-up in the market means you cannot compromise on either aspect. But making the math add up on this can be an impossible balance.
1st Energy, founded in 2014, broke into the Australian market with a proposition built on 1st class customer service. They promised minimal frustration and quick solutions to any problems, all dealt with by an on-shore Australian call centre. But as they grew they were facing new challenges in scaling up their customer service efficiently. This headache was taking up more and more time and capital, and affecting customer satisfaction.
“The difference with Agility’s Managed Services is their in-depth industry knowledge, the quality of their people, and taking ownership of customer outcomes – not just taking a call”.
Adam Landry, Executive Director, 1st Energy
Managing customer demands
1st Energy came to us in 2017 to help them solve this dilemma. We were already powering their billing platform and customer information systems, and were asked to support customer service too.
Our Managed Services team began by taking on their overflow calls, acting as an extension of their business to resolve customer queries efficiently and effectively, providing extra capacity and expertise. Within 6 months we had delivered significant added value and were appointed by 1st Energy to manage their Call Centre in full, covering Inbound Contact Centre services, Chat services, and E-services.
Reimagining 1st class customer service
We have since gone on to reimagine the way 1st Energy manage customer care and delivered a step-change in service quality as a result. Key to our success has been a focus on improving NPS with every single interaction, across every single customer touch-point.
We began by mapping the full customer journey, interrogating the data behind it from our billing engine, and using this to identify every improvement that could be made. This helped to simplify processes, and ensure effortless experiences for new and existing customers.
Following this redesign we have worked together through an agile approach. Each month we take a hard look at the data and KPIs exploring insights gained through any pilots, areas requiring improvement, and future innovations.
Some of these will be major new projects, such as our development of online self-service tools for 1st Energy’s customers. 1st have been one of our pioneer clients in rolling-out this service, developing it iteratively alongside us through testing, feedback and customer trials.
Other changes will involve a series of minor fixes that deliver marginal gains by themselves, shaving off a few seconds each time, but cumulatively lead to a significant impact. For example, changing the billing cycle from calendar month billing to anniversary billing, creating a better distribution of work throughout the month.
Through these changes we have achieved significant transformations in efficiency that few other retailers can rival. For the past 12 months the average handle time was 6:22, and the Average Wait Time was just 30 seconds.
Our approach is also backed up by 1st class customer management, delivered by our dedicated energy specialists. Their focus and philosophy isn’t on just answering the call but resolving the problem.
They take a proactive customer-centric approach, working in a pre-emptive manner to decrease the number of issues and complaints experienced by customers, thereby improving loyalty and lifetime customer value. Ultimately whilst this is a more intensive model up-front it saves costs in the longer-run through minimising disruption, repeat issues, and customer churn.
Measuring excellence in customer service
Through our decades of experience in the market we have honed our approach, and are confident in the satisfaction levels we can achieve. This is mirrored in our SLAs, which we have consistently hit for 1st Energy. This has driven unparalleled increases in customer experiences:
- 70% of calls answered within 20 seconds
- 100% of emails responded to within 16 business hours
- In the past 12 months we have averaged 82% Grade of Service
- NPS has increased by 35 points since 2017
The relentless focus on continuous improvements and marginal gains means there is always more we can do. But this transformation has enabled 1st Energy to continue confidently marketing their services on a promise of excellent customer service.
Helping your business
Agility provide a complete Managed Service offering for new entrants and established utilities. This covers everything from on-boarding and customer care to metering, billing and credit control activities.
Contact us today if you want to learn more about our offering or our billing and customer solutions.