(and keeping) the lights on
In a sector where you are scored for every customer interaction, CX is crucial. UK Power Networks uses Liberty Create to connect the customer journey, helping both staff and customers.
- Integrated with ERP systems to speed up process management
- Reduced manual data entry saving 8,000 hours of processing quotes, raising jobs and scheduling
- 66% efficiency saving on quotes that don’t convert to orders
- Improved upon already high customer experience standards and scores
- 10 FTE time reduction saved within 12 months of implementing low-code
A digital future
Electricity is one of those ubiquitous things that we all take for granted, but what does it take to supply electricity to our homes and businesses? UK Power Networks knows all about this. They own, construct and maintain the electricity infrastructure across London, the South East and East of England making sure your lights stay on.
Supplying millions of customers means a gigantic range of needs, from a rural farmhouse to the Houses of Parliament and every type of home and business in between. The only common theme is the expectation that when a switch is flicked, the power comes on.
Unlike buying a phone or a car, consumers understand very little about connecting electricity to their property or premises. Many simply equate it to switches, lightbulbs and what an electrician does. They don’t think about the massive cables below the road, or the transformers and power stations that are needed to turn that lightbulb on.
Managing customer expectations
Connect the customer journey
The standard of service that UK Power Networks delivers is stringently measured by their regulator, Ofgem. A range of their customers are regularly surveyed, being asked how satisfied they were and to score UK Power Networks out of ten.
As such, excellent customer experience is one of the highest priorities for the CEO and the business, delivering outstanding customer service in the way that the customer chooses to receive it.
- UK Power Networks is at the top of the league table in customer experience (CX) measurement
- This is judged on a number of aspects, including planned interruptions, general enquiries
- It is very important to them to retain this position and drive forward in raising the CX bar
Ramping up systems…
A core system at UK Power Networks is their SAP CRM system, a robust tool but it lacks automation capabilities. For the frontline team at UK Power Networks, trying to give customers a good offering while using a system with manual processes has proved problematic, particularly during busy times. This jeopardised their survey score and reputation for providing great CX.
Looking for a solution, the business started to explore Liberty Create low-code to integrate the CRM and automate several elements of a process. The end goal was an altogether smoother customer journey and slicker user experience.
… Without adding to IT’s workload
A key benefit of low-code is that it allows the business to build elements for themselves.
With IT often under pressure to manage an ever-growing task queue, progress of transformation projects can be slow. Low-code enables business users, who are not trained in coding, to share some of the development burden.
Using their understanding of business processes, they can speed up the delivery of change, without compromising on standards or security.
Create has allowed us to lock down the process to ensure it goes right, first time.
Applying for a connection
Customers can apply for a connection either on the phone, or in writing, mostly by online application or email, but some customers still prefer paper and stamps.
UK Power Networks handles these applications, regardless of the medium that they are received, by appointing a Coordinator to guide the customer through the process.
They usually require a site survey. This overcomes physical and practical issues, and helps to build a face-to-face relationship, similar to that of a builder / customer relationship, enabling questions to be answered.
When the survey comes back the Coordinator prepares the quote. This involves a meter that belongs to the relevant network operator, so they need to be included in the connection, plus a consumer unit which requires an electrician. If customers don’t understand these hidden layers of complexity, they can be frustrated at the delays.
Create plays a role in simplifying the customer journey. It helps the Coordinator to manage the process and automates key parts of the process.
UK Power Networks has automated the front end of the website so the applications go straight into the CRM system.
No data entry is required. If a Coordinator sends an application form attachment, it is added into the system, with no manual data entry. To book a survey appointment, a Coordinator arranges a date with the customer and details are automatically sent out, plus the CRM system is updated with all the correct information.
The CRM system is automated to update when payments are received. Customers receive updates and reminders throughout the process. These systems were built with Create and UK Power Networks’ ERP systems.
It’s a springboard to solve other business challenges. When we have shown apps to our team, they were increasingly engaged as they realised this is ‘the real’ version. There’s no ‘big reveal’ but it’s more exciting to build what we need so quickly, showing and testing it as we build.
Eliminating routine tasks to focus on CX
By reducing more of the routine tasks, coordinators are free to focus on providing better customer experience.
And there are tangible benefits too. To manually complete an application for a customer takes 12 minutes. This has now been completely automated by Create, saving 12 minutes per application.
- UK Power Networks handles roughly 24,000 quotes a year so the time saving is staggering
- Each survey, which took a member of staff 12-15 minutes to raise and book, Create has reduced to 30 seconds. All that is required is finding a convenient slot on the planning board. Create takes care of the rest
- It is also beneficial for training, retention of staff and for business continuity, as the system is populating information which means that there is less repetitive manual work
- Staff can process quicker, easier and with fewer errors
Collaborating with IT
IT governance and recruitment perks
UK Power Networks doesn’t take risks as it works to a framework set by its regulator. IT are able to retain governance and, because Create is on UK Power Networks’ own servers, IT own and maintain it. They can control any security issues.
With Create, UK Power Networks has been able to deploy a solution which will grow alongside their requirements. The programming
is a team effort which helps to future-proof. Their strong team dynamic has the satisfying feeling of everyone pulling in the right direction.
Like many others, UK Power Networks purchased Create to solve the initial integration issues. Once they solved that and had used Create, they realised its capabilities and full potential.
Now our system is automated to do things that our contact centre agents don’t have to, ensuring our legacy CRM system fulfils our needs. By automating parts of the process, it means our Coordinators can focus on our customers and the parts of the process which really benefit from human interaction and explanation.
See how easy it is to use our low-code platform with a free test drive of Liberty Create.