The following post is from Mick Saunders, the Digital Services Success Manager at First Utility, a UK electricity and gas supplier supplying thousands of homes across the UK.First Utility uses Conversocial to workflow their Facebook and Twitter channels as a brand. Mick has a background in working within the Contact Centre environment. Mick and his team have recently been polled as number 1 for Twitter customer service out of the whole UK utilities industry.
The customer is truly at the heart of our ethos. As a supplier of gas and electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes across the UK, we take absolute pride in delivering the best customer experience, not least on our social channels.
Creative agency Dusted has developed an app called Heerd, which allows customers to quickly rate companies who deliver great service. Heerd have recently highlighted that First Utility have the quickest response time in the UK energy sector. They specifically commended one of our new agents who, via Conversocial, has been working diligently to provide timely responses while maintaining a high level of customer care.
Constant innovation is important to us in making sure our team delivers their absolute best. We know more and more customers are using digital channels to interact with brands, so we have more digital service executives than ever before. It’s wonderful recognition to see that we’re the fastest at responding in our whole industry. It sits with our ideology that we want to change the face of utilities industry for the better.
We are well placed to deliver this experience, as all of our customer service operations are based in the UK, and over the past year we’ve quadrupled the size of our customer service team.
Working with Conversocial, who deliver #SocialFirst technology, helps us keep our customers happy. A recent survey from NM Incite showed that 71% of consumers who experience positive social customer care are likely to recommend the brand to others, compared with just 19% of customers who do not get a response.
The need to be present and responsive on social media is so important for the UK utilities industry. Customers expect it, and so they should. We believe every company should be striving to put social customer service at the forefront of their call centre strategy. Conversocial has always advocated the idea of delivering “humanity at scale”; reaching large amounts of people in ways that are still genuine, warm, and essentially human which is an idea we agree with at First Utility.
On Twitter, customers want a fast response, so we make sure our team has everything they need to reply in less than a minute. And with Twitter improving its private messaging functionality, it should be even easier for customers to talk to brands. According to Social Bakers, across all brands using social channels for customer services as an industry, brands are reporting that more than 80% of customer service requests on social media come in via Twitter. And the past two years have seen a 2.5x increase in the number of Tweets to brands and their customer service usernames.
According to a recent Twitter survey reported on their blog, there’s also the added cost benefit for companies, in that the cost per resolution on Twitter is around ⅙ of what they’re seeing in call centers. And companies that developed social care capabilities improved year-over-year revenue per contact by 18.8% over companies without social customer service, according to a study by the Aberdeen group Whilst at First Utility we have our own internal measurements to prove ROI on social, these statistics go some way to showing how social customer service is maturing.
We want to be industry leaders in delivering social first customer service. Conversocial’s recent social maturity index whitepaper has examined how the utility industry can really adopt a #SocialFirst mentality on all digital customer service channels. We strive to ensure that we deliver the best practice to resolve in-channel; that is, if a customer contacts us via Twitter, we resolve the whole case via Twitter. After all, social media should be no different to any other channel. You don’t ignore a ringing phone, do you?.
My top tip for delivering these kind of results are that your agents should be well equipped with the technology and training they need to provide a timely resolution. And it is this combination that allows us to respond in less than a minute.