Quarterly Performance Reporting

We’re the first to admit we’re far from perfect. But we see complaints as a necessary and valuable feedback mechanism so that we can keep getting better and better. Our CEO Greg likes to use the analogy of when we Brits go for dinner. The chips are soggy, the main is stone cold, but as soon as the server comes to ask if everything is ok we lie and say it’s all good. The customers leave and never return and the restaurant stays rubbish and can’t understand why they are making less and less money.

We don’t want to be that rubbish restaurant and that’s why it’s so important for us to listen when we do get it wrong. Yes it might be uncomfortable, but we’d rather you told us straight and give us a chance to fix it rather than leave still hungry!

How did we do last quarter with customer satisfaction:

We ask our customers for feedback after every interaction. This ensures we stay close to how we are doing and respond quickly if there is something we aren’t doing quite right.

Over the last quarter, 74% of customers said they were happy with their service experience with 14% rating their experience with us a neutral.

We also look to 3rd party review sites to see how we are doing. So far this year, 91% of customers rate us as 5 stars on review site TrustPilot.

Rated 5 stars for customer service from 68,182 reviews.

How we're doing (the numbers)

Reporting period Complaints received Received per 100k customer accounts Complaints resolved Resolved per 100k customer accounts Resolved the same or next working day Resolved in 8 weeks
Q4 2019 5634 254 5634 254 55% 98%
Q1 2020 11498 442 10837 417 60% 94%
Q2 2020 12896 475 12892 471 66% 93%
Q3 2020 16857 566 16879 567 64% 93%
Q4 2020 16632 507 16050 490 59% 92%
Q1 2021 18138 488 17866 481 57% 88%

Top 5 reasons for complaints last quarter

Switching

Over the course of the last year, drastic changes to how people work have meant many suppliers have been offering reduced or emergency-only services (we're proud to say that our tech allowed us to adapt swiftly, managing interactions with customers remotely). Still, we've seen increased complaints in areas like switching because they heavily rely on us being able to speak to other suppliers, whose services have been severely reduced.

We’re usually able to call other suppliers directly previously to resolve issues that arise when customers switch. During COVID 19 lockdowns, however, we sometimes haven’t been able to do that, and so we’ve been unable to resolve switching issues as quickly as we normally would. With this in mind, we’ve since joined an industry-wide communication platform to facilitate direct contact with other suppliers.

A smooth switch also depends on how accurate the industry’s supply database is, and how well the outgoing supplier works to keep this accurate. We try to spot any issues early, but sometimes they won’t become visible until after you have begun your switch.

What we’ve done:

  • Our energy specialist teams are now responsible for the switching process. With a wider knowledge of the industry, they can ensure a smooth transition, and have been spotting errors earlier in the transfer process and resolving them quickly.
  • We’ve moved a number of our processes in-house, so we’re less reliant on third parties.

Billing

We’re always looking for ways to improve our dynamic billing processes based on customer feedback. In recent months we’ve made the following changes, streamlining the customer journey, from meter reading submission to payment.

What we’ve done:

  • We’ve worked hard to ensure that our communications are as clear as possible, with more information on our statement emails that is tailored to the customer. We’re also offering more comprehensive answers to frequently asked questions.
  • We’ve made improvements to final bills. Even if a customer has not submitted a final reading, we ensure that all customers receive an estimated final bill within 42 days, and will compensate customers otherwise.
  • We’ve tightened restrictions around back billing to ensure that customers aren’t charged for energy they used more than 12 months ago.
  • We’re continuously working to ensure that the number of customers who haven’t had a bill is kept to an absolute minimum, and our energy specialists are working with our tech team to make billing errors a thing of the past.

What we’re doing:

  • Improving the meter reading submission journey to make it easier than ever to submit readings quickly and correctly.
  • Improving training for our operations teams, to ensure that all of our staff are equipped to deal with complex billing queries.

Customer Service

Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so each time we interact, we’ll send them a follow up survey to see how we did. We do this every time, not just for those who have a straightforward query. We don’t want to hide when things go wrong, we want customers to be able to tell us so we can improve. Rather than being bounced around obscure departments, we believe all our specialists should be able to help you with your questions.

What we’ve done:

  • Introduced an Operations Academy for Ongoing Excellence so we can continue to ensure our people have the skills to be industry leading energy specialists.
  • We’ve grown our teams, meaning more people to respond and help you with anything you need.

What we’re doing:

  • Expanding training, with refresher courses run each month for all specialists, making sure they are always giving you the most up to date information.
  • Building on our Operations Academy for Ongoing Excellence and creating a 3 level skills tree. Those specialists can become team experts, enabling everybody to better support their customers.

Metering

We understand that metering issues are a source of customer dissatisfaction. That’s why we are constantly challenging ourselves and the industry to make processes as simple as possible and give our customers as much control as possible. We’ll do everything we can to make sure your smart meter is installed and communicating with us. For customers who join us with smart meters already installed, we undertake specific action to ensure that you have smart capability immediately and also look to resolve issues that we inherit from your old supplier.

What we’ve done:

  • Developed industry-leading smart tariffs to continue to reduce energy consumption at peak times and provide a super low-cost supply for EV users
  • Our installation teams are working with our frontline energy specialists to ensure we have up-to-date information available to deliver the very best customer service
  • We are working closely with the meter manufacturers and industry leaders to make sure that any metering problems can be quickly identified, resolved and fixes put in place

What we’re doing:

  • Empowering our frontline energy specialists with customer friendly technical instructions that allow commissioning of meters remotely, resulting in reduced time without smart metering capability
  • Developing our own in-house installation team to ensure that the customer service delivered when installing meters is in line with the Octopus Energy overall customer service ethos
  • Building a second-level, semi-technical team to assist in investigating industry issues to deliver Octopus led solutions
  • Teaming up with industry-leading EV manufacturer Tesla, to bring new service propositions, special tariffs and features to benefit the exploding electric vehicle market

Payment issues

At Octopus Energy we believe that we achieve the best outcomes when we treat customers as individuals, with unique circumstances and needs. This holds true for customers that are in arrears. Our teams are empowered to find individual solutions by talking to customers and understanding what works best for them.

What we’ve done:

  • We’ll regularly review Direct Debits to help ensure customers are paying the right amount for the energy they use to avoid building up a debit. We'll always work with customers to make sure the amount they pay each month is affordable for them.
  • We’re supporting customers through the pandemic. We’ve made it easier for customers to tell us that they’ve been financially impacted, and we’ll work with them to provide the support they need.

What we’re doing:

  • We’re partnering with organisations to make completing affordability assessments simpler and more accurate. This means we can set up repayment plans that are both affordable and sustainable.
  • We constantly review the support we provide to all our Specialists to ensure that they are well equipped to resolve payment issues.

Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!

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