Energy CONNECT

A half-yearly e-newsletter by the YTL PowerSeraya Group

Keeping Pace With Today’s Customer Service

Customer Service

The progressive liberalisation of the electricity industry over the years since 2001 has given consumers more options to choose their preferred electricity retailer and manage their energy costs. To facilitate the development of a competitive market, having the right capabilities to support a high level of customer service is important.

How does Seraya Energy keep up amidst an influx of competition and customers’ needs that change in tandem with the development of the industry? We speak to Lee Fee Goo, Senior Manager of Fulfilment at Seraya Energy, to share some insights. Fee had won, as well as led her team to win multiple call centre awards for excellent customer service on both a local and regional level. She also currently serves as an Executive Committee member of the Contact Centre Association of Singapore.

Consumers often expect that switching to a private electricity retailer is an inconvenient process and are hence hesitant to switch. Is this true?

At Seraya Energy, when new customers come on board, the Fulfilment team seeks to simplify for them the process of switching. On customers’ behalf, we would liaise with the various parties involved and look into their infrastructure and regulatory requirements to ensure these are met. The transition process is therefore kept seamless and hassle-free as much as possible for the customer. To manage expectations, customers are also kept informed on every phase of the process.

How do you continue to maximise the customer service experience?

We believe a customer’s end-to-end journey is important. Once they come on board as a full-fledged customer, the Fulfilment team manages more than just their queries. The team is also trained to think from the customers’ perspective, such as finding ways to ease or simplify their business management process when working with Seraya Energy. One of the initiatives implemented was to auto-alert customers to review their Contracted Capacity at an appropriate level, which was well-received by the targeted customer group.

We seek to build customers’ experience across various touchpoints in our organisation. These efforts cut across various functions, i.e. we work closely with various departments such as sales and marketing, to provide value-add services that include plant tours and portal orientation, as well as energy makeovers at customers’ premises to help them save additional energy costs.

How important is the role of a call centre in the customer value chain? How has this role changed over the years?

Customers still value and respond to the level of service provided regardless of mode of communication. At Seraya Energy, we have internal quality management processes on handling all transactions to ensure high service standards are met.

At the same time, we recognise that the proliferation of communication technologies may mean consumers are likely to use more than just the phone to get their message across e.g. webchats, Facebook. This becomes more evident when household consumers become contestable in 2018 when the market fully liberalises. Importantly, the team remains flexible and is ready to adapt accordingly to deploy the right channels to fit customers’ preference and needs. These days, it’s no longer enough to manage customer calls and queries well; it’s also about being technically proficient to manage various interactive tools.

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