Newsroom 21 April 2021

UK Power Networks keeps customer lights shining bright with automation and low-code technology


As a sector that relies heavily on quality customer interactions, energy companies must be at the top of their game each and every day. It can be challenging to balance good customer experience with managing manual processes. To stay on top of customer expectations, UK Power Networks – an energy company delivering electricity in the South and East of England and London – has upgraded its internal systems to enhance its customer delivery.

For UK Power Networks, retaining its position at the top of the league table in customer experience is one of its primary goals, but its customer relationship management (CRM) system was jeopardising this. Whilst being a robust tool, the system lacked automation capabilities, and its manual processes were making it harder for the team to provide customers with a high-quality customer service experience. To overcome this, the team at UK Power Networks has integrated Netcall’s Liberty Create low-code offering into its CRM and automated elements within the customer journey, to in turn provide an overall smoother and slicker user experience.

Simplifying the connection application process

Applying for an energy connection has been a key focus for low-code implementation. Customers typically apply for a connection via online application or email, but some still prefer paper and post. To accommodate all application mediums, a coordinator is required to guide the process – starting with the site survey, through to when the results are received, and finally to the quote being provided. When it comes to preparing the quote, however, this involves third parties; a meter that belongs to the relevant energy supply company, plus a consumer unit that requires an electrician. Allowing for such additional elements must be included in the connection and add extra time and complexity. Often customers are unaware of these hidden layers and this can lead to frustrations around delays they weren’t therefore expecting.

This is where ‘Create’ plays a key role, as it simplifies the customer journey by automating key parts of the process. Applications now go straight into the CRM system – meaning no manual data input is required. A coordinator can send an application form attachment with no manual data entry and when a survey appointment is booked with a customer, the details are automatically sent out whilst updating the CRM system with all the correct information.

Saving 8,000 hours of processing time

Speed is a crucial part of day-to-day operations and by reducing manual data entry, UK Power Networks now saves 8,000 hours on processing quotes, raising jobs and scheduling. Now that the application process has been automated by Create, a task that previously took an employee 12 minutes is now completed almost instantly. In addition, for every quote, Create now raises and books a survey in 30 seconds, as opposed to the 12-15 minutes it would previously take employees. Given that UK Power Networks deals with over 24,000 quotes a year, this time soon adds up, meaning that these new systems save the team a significant time investment – time that is now freed up for better customer service. This includes spending more time on building valuable face-to-face relationships during site surveys and enabling employees to answer customer questions throughout the process.

Mark Ranger, Business Support Manager at UK Power Networks, comments, “Create has allowed us to lock down the process to ensure it goes right, first time. Now our system is automated to do things that our contact centre agents don’t have to, whilst ensuring our CRM system continues to fulfil our business needs. By automating parts of the process, it means our coordinators can now focus on our customers and the parts of the process that benefit most from human interaction and explanation.”

Mark Holmes, Chief Sales Officer at Netcall, adds, “When it comes to keeping the nation’s power switched on, it is crucial that the front-line teams have the right tools to complete it. We’re honoured to have been a part of this process and to have helped future-proof the company. It’s been great to see that benefits being supplied to the business already, and we look forward to working more with UK Power Networks moving forwards.”

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