As temperatures plummet and the new energy price cap comes into effect on October 1st, our call tracking data shows that UK energy companies should expect significant spikes in consumer call volumes, related to the conversation around price cap increases.
Over 50% increase in calls to utility providers in March 2022
Our latest call data, gathered from utilities providers in-platform, has shown a massive week-on-week increase of 50.1% in calls between March 20th and 27th, the week preceding the April 1st price hike. A spike of 10% could also be seen between August 28th and September 4th, the week Ofgem announced the October 1st price cap increase.
Are you equipped to handle rising calls?
This significant rise in consumer calls to energy companies clearly shows a level of anxiety around price hikes. They’re looking to your business – and by association, your contact centre team – to provide exceptional customer experience and reassurance during these difficult times.
Energy companies that are equipped to handle the rising volume of calls, through fast response times and well-trained agents, are more likely to weather this period with their reputations and customer base intact.
Now is the time to batten down the hatches. Make sure your contact centres teams are ready to handle increase call volumes by taking the following steps:
1. Upskill your agents
Brands should consider investing in tools, such as call monitoring, that can give them real-time insights into how call agents are handling calls. Doing so empowers businesses to pinpoint why certain agents have enabled a positive call experience, and then train and upskill the rest of their agents based on this insight.
2. Reduce average call handling times
Businesses need to ensure consumers get the support they need as quickly as possible. Analysing each call to identify issues that push up average handling times (AHT) will help you minimise friction. This has the added benefit of improving the customer experience and enhancing your call centre operations through more tailored agent training.
3. Make use of call deflection
Call deflection is when a business transfers an incoming customer call to an alternate channel, such as an online FAQ. This helps customers get access to the support they need quicker and frees up your agents to handle more complex queries. Tools like Conversation Analytics can identify FAQs which can help you build more effective self-service options and improve your overall communications strategy.
Are your call volumes soaring?
Now more than ever, utility providers and energy companies need to make sure they’re handling customer interactions the right way.
Customer calls to energy providers are often the only form of interaction they have. This means it can have a significant impact on how they perceive you… and whether they’ll stick around in future.
Ready to invest in technology that can ease consumer anxiety and take the pressure off your contact centre teams during this busy time? Book a demo with us today to find out more.
Matt is Head of Brand at Infinity. He has extensive experience helping B2B and B2C brands enhance and manage their reputations, nail their positioning, and launch hard-hitting campaigns through data-driven decision-making.