anouska

Spotlight on... Anouska Ameratunga, Industry Specialist

Chris Roper, Spotlight

3rd July 2017

In the latest of our “Spotlight on…” series we talk to Anouska Ameratunga, Industry Specialist and informal (well, formal really) Social Secretary, about fighting bad data and planning big parties...

Why did you join Octopus?

It’s rare for companies to always want the best for the customer, and I always wanted to work for a company which wanted to do right by the customer and not just think of their own profits. 

This was the first job I applied for after moving from New Zealand. I hadn't planned on working in the energy industry, but when I started I just loved the people and the job itself is very interesting – I've been here for nearly a year already. 

What do you do at Octopus?

I cover all the industry issues that crop up, such as erroneous transfers, agreed readings, crossed meters, that sort of thing. When something goes wrong and we need to involve other suppliers or industry bodies, I'm the one who takes care of it.

What’s it like speaking to other suppliers?

Other suppliers can be really friendly, but there are also instances when they can be very pushy, and what they want to do isn’t always in the customer’s interests. 

What I find really difficult about the energy industry, in general, is that there’s a lot of bad data. We inherit this bad data when a customer joins us and sometimes they have this perception that we’ve messed up, but in fact a previous supplier was to blame. 

If a meter exchange happened a year ago, for example, and the old supplier didn't update the national database, we could switch an incorrect meter, or be expecting a 4 digit meter instead of a 5 dial meter on the customer's account. This causes unnecessary frustration for the customer and a lot of work for us to get it fixed.

How is what you do different to other suppliers?

We always think about the customer and what’s best for them, and I don’t think other suppliers necessarily do the same. Also, other suppliers usually filter their work through different teams. So maybe if it was a crossed meter you’d be speaking to the crossed meters team, or the erroneous transfers team, whereas with us, we follow it through so there's just one person dealing with your query. So if you have a question that one person responds and understands the whole scope of it. This makes things much simpler for customers.

And you're the gal who sorts the parties, right?

Yeah, I sort out birthdays and other stuff, and I love doing it as I think it creates a really great working environment. I’m also helping to coordinate London Pride this year which I’m really excited about. We're based in Soho and surrounded by people from all walks of life and we're really looking forward to celebrating with everyone.

I've been going to meetings with other coordinators in the Octopus Group, sourcing merchandise, and organising dinner and lunch for 100 people which we're hosting right here in the office. On Pride day, we'll come together at the office to collect merchandise for handing out during the parade. We’re also thinking of doing face painting. Then after the parade we’ll come back to the office to celebrate.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The people I work with. Here, everybody wants to help. That includes the managers too – they might be super busy but they've always got time to sit down and help or explain things. It makes life so much easier and makes you want to come to work.

What’s the most challenging thing about your job?

Definitely all the bad data. Often, customers aren’t aware that their previous supplier hasn’t updated the national meter database and the problem only surfaces when they come to us. We solve the issue so those customers don’t ever have to face that problem again. 

Any message for those thinking of switching?

We always operate with the customers’ interests at heart, so by joining us you’d be like part of the family.

Any message for existing customers?

Welcome to the family! And if there are any problems, even the littlest thing, please let us know. Whether it's something big or just a little tweak, we’ll be happy to fix it.

Hey! Just so you know, your device is fully charged and you're still charging it. Removing the charger will avoid degrading your battery 😊

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