At Energia, we understand the importance of delivering top-notch services and making sure our customers are cared for when they call. This wouldn’t be possible without our customer service employees, who are the backbone of our organisation. And we’re proud to have such talented people on our team!
This year’s National Customer Service Week (NCSW) runs from Monday 2 to Friday 6 October 2023. We celebrate customer service in our organisations with a series of themes, and prepared activities for each day
Some of the awards we have won are:
- Best Customer Experience Award at the Loyalty Awards for our loyalty programme, Energia Rewards 2023
- Best Team Leader at the CCNNI Awards 2022
- Best Support Manager at the CCNNI Awards 2022
- Shortlisted for Best Customer Service Agent 2022
See our interview below with Jeff McNicchol who was shortlisted for Customer Service Agent of the Year at the CCNI Awards 2022
How long have you been working here Jeff?
I started my Energia career in January 2020 right before the pandemic happened. So, in total, I have been here 3 years and 9 months.
What is your role within the care team?
My role is a Care Senior and I report directly to the team leaders for the care department. I am there to support our agents and deal with any customer queries that may need to be escalated to ultimately find the best solution possible for our customers.
What advice would you give someone starting out as a customer service employee?
The advice I would offer someone beginning their role in a customer service-based capacity would be to always be honest with your customers. If you see a problem or mistake, then own up to it. The same for when you don’t know a specific query, as you can always educate yourself on this to provide the customer with the best possible service.
How do you approach difficult or challenging customer interactions?
With these calls, I always try to put myself in their position to understand why they are frustrated or upset and use empathy to convey this. When an unhappy customer calls, there is normally an underlying cause. For example, an angry customer may have received a high bill but by using open questions and listening to them you might realise that they are more worried about money issues or how they will make that payment.
Another thing I always remember is that it is not personal and ultimately, I would treat the customer how I would want to be treated or how I would want a family member to be treated if they were calling.
How has your vulnerable customer training impacted your approach to calls?
The vulnerable customer training we received was in partnership with PAPYRUS and this was over two sessions. The purpose of this was to give us tools to understand how someone may feel when they are having these types of thoughts and feelings. The reality is that sadly with the current cost of living crisis, this has become more and more common.
The training helped me understand how to approach these conversations by providing me with questions I can use to try and help explore the feelings some customers may experience. It has also helped me understand that in a lot of these cases, a customer might be hesitant to ask for help directly and how to broach these topics in a respectful manner. It also provided me with great insight into the work and assistance that many different organisations offer.
What are the most common issues customers contact you about?
The most common issue, which is one that is unfortunately right at the forefront of everyday life now, is the affordability of paying bills. With the current cost of living crisis, we are seeing more and more customers asking for assistance with this. We will always try our best to understand the customer’s worries and work with them.
We have a range of different services from creating payment plans to a relief scheme for those most affected to try and help bring their bills down. Ultimately, we want to engage with them to let them know we are here to support them and offer different solutions to best fit their situation.
We’re extremely thankful to Jeff who took time to share his experience, as well as the many other exceptional staff that make our contact centres what they are.
We hope that if you have any questions or need advice, you know you can reach out to our team. Our fully trained staff are happy to talk through our services, plans and offers to make sure you get all the information you need. With great staff like Jeff, we will aim to answer all your queries as best as we can.