Treating. A simple guide to our Standards of Conduct and how we work for you. fairly

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1 Treating A simple guide to our Standards of Conduct and how we work for you fairly

2 Setting our standards Just like our energy we re keeping our Standards of Conduct simple and clear. That way, our people know what s expected of them, and you know what to expect as a customer. It s all part of our mission to provide a service that works for you, along with the best customer service possible. We have procedures and policies in place to meet the requirements of our energy industry s regulator (Ofgem) for all our business customers. We re also aiming to go one better by building our services around you and your business. That way you don t have to fit into the way we do things. As we re putting customers at the heart of everything we do, we re regularly asking what you want and need. It s a part of our ongoing journey that we d like you to join us on. So let s take a look at what we ve been up to in 2015, and we ll show you how we ve delivered on our promises Paul Coffey, npower CEO. 3

3 What do we mean by treating customers fairly? Our industry regulator Ofgem sets standards which require us to treat all our customers fairly. But our goal isn t just to meet these targets; it s to top them, by going the extra mile for customers. So we ve made a massive effort to get everyone in npower on board, by creating some common rules and guidelines for us all to follow. We think that treating you fairly is a mixture of a few things: Doing the right thing If something goes wrong, we re always there to put it right. But what s just as important is saying we re sorry too. That s why we re so focused on making it easier for you to contact us you can simply let us know when there s a problem and also to complain if you feel we ve not treated you fairly. Keeping our promises In a nutshell, this means doing what we say we will. Whether it s calling you back at a certain time, or sending a corrected invoice. We ll always do our best to deliver what we ve promised. Sticking to the rules All energy companies need to do things in a legal and professional way. So our industry regulator sets standards and regulations for us all to follow. It makes sure everyone is playing fair and, like us, putting their energy customers at the heart of everything they do. Being consistent All of our policies are honest and made crystal clear to every customer. So when we make decisions, we make sure customers are treated fairly. Looking after our customers If there s one thing we put first, it s our customers. We know any decision, big or small, could impact their business. So we put their needs ahead of our own. We re running a brilliant training programme across the whole of npower. It makes sure employees are aware of the Standards of Conduct and know how to work by the book. The standards are built into the way we do things. That way, they know what we expect from their performance as an npower employee. It s just another way we make sure you re treated fairly. We began this report by inviting you to take a journey with us. Let s look at the ways we ve actively engaged with you this year. 5

4 Giving our customers a voice You re at the heart of everything we do. So if you tell us how you feel, you know we ll listen. Here s what we do: Our business services are broken down into two teams: npower Business serves mainly businesses comprising of less than 10 employees and a turnover of less than 2m euro or an annual energy consumption rate not exceeding 100,000 KWh (power) or 293,000 KWh (gas). npower Business Solutions working mainly with companies that use energy on a larger scale, many of whom have dedicated Client Leads, Account Managers and Customer Relationship Managers. npower Business and npower Business Solutions carry out regular Customer Satisfaction surveys and in some instances, a customer spotlight interview. This is how we learn what really matters to you. We gather up the information and pick out areas to improve upon. Once we re in the know, we put the weaker areas through our business change processes and strengthen them. Both teams make sure your comments are heard by the right people at npower. By prioritising the improvements that ll make the biggest difference, we make sure we do the right thing at the right time. That s where the Customer Improvement Alliance comes in. It s made up of both people and processes throughout the business, looking to champion changes that will improve your customer experience. Here are some examples of what this means: Business Voice Panel Creating the Business Voice Panel has helped us to better understand our micro-business customers, and how our work affects theirs. It s made up of 1,500 energy customers that we work with all the time. They test products, propositions and communications to make sure any of our changes are customer focused. Energy Champions Our Energy Champions are real business owners, just like you, who face the same obstacles and challenges we use them to illustrate how you could save money and become more energy efficient. By providing advice and suggesting energy saving measures, we re demonstrating how an energy provider can be a partner to your business and help you grow and succeed. Energy saving products We offer a range of energy saving solutions and support to business customers. Ranging from Energy Saving Kits and devices for npower Business customers to full scale Site Audits for npower Business Solutions customers. Energy is a vital commodity and for npower Business Solutions customers, we are dedicated to helping businesses generate, transact and use it more efficiently. We support each customer by offering a range of products to suit their individual business requirements from maximising on-site generation potential, to managing energy export and supply via fixed or flexible contracts; from online energy management tools, to energy efficiency expertise. Blog and social media We ve been using our blogs, Twitter and LinkedIn, to provide insightful business advice and news to companies whether they re npower customers or not. Local customer satisfaction champions These are our front line Customer Contact Teams. It s their job to look into customer comments and find ways to make things better for everyone who s with us. The feedback is handed up through the Customer Transformation Process and even to our Customer Improvement Alliance. We ve heard your feedback, so what did we do next? 6 7

5 Improvements in communication Every time we talk to our customers, we learn more about you and find out how you like to do things. This is how we re improving how we communicate with you: Reviewing communications to make them more customer-friendly Improving letters to make them clearer and more concise Enhancing our web pages to make them easier to navigate and read Offering an online quote option for our micro-business customers, so that you don t have to spend all your time on the phone. We know most customers prefer to organise their energy account outside of office hours. With that in mind, we ve set up the services below: 24-hour automated telephone service for micro-business customers To pay bills To provide meter readings Online Account Management for micro-business customers To view and pay bills (npower Business only) To provide meter readings Live Chat with one of our agents during working hours (npower Business only) Over 17,000 business customers have now signed up to this service. Many of them have more than one fuel account with us. Online Account Management for larger business customers View account summary View invoices either at group, site or invoice level and within a specified time period Create, view and download energy reports. Our energy reports help our medium to large business customers to monitor their energy costs and carbon use across their portfolio Send meter readings and account enquiries online Update account Live Chat The vast majority of our micro-business customers can chat in real-time to an advisor, as long as they re logged into our Online Account Management System during working hours. They re ready to help with any queries or concerns you may have about your energy account, just as they would over the phone. We also released our helpful Voice Recognition tools in It s designed to help you get through to the right person quickly when you call us. To make sure you re happy with the service, we ask everyone to take a quick survey after each call and . For our larger business customers, you can get in touch with our Business Solutions team via our website using our Live Chat service that was introduced in Our Letter of Authority policy has also received the full npower treatment we ve made it simpler. Now it s easier for you to authorise someone in your business to access your online energy account with us. Read on to find out how we ve improved your customer journey From our survey conducted, 95% of customers using Live Chat were satisfied with the service they received and 100% said they would use it again. Over 65% of customers said that they only called in because Live Chat was available. 8

6 Improving the customer journey We re making things simpler and fairer at every stage of our customer journey. We have a dedicated team working on our Customer Transformation Process. Whether you re joining, staying or leaving us, we want to treat you fairly every step of the way. Moving premises Our Business Movers Team are a dedicated team, set up to assist our Micro-Business customers. Think of it as a one-stop-shop where you can agree a new contract and have your account set up by one adviser. It makes the whole process of moving premises much simpler. Offering Direct Debit at point of sale You can now save time and money if you set up a Direct Debit as soon as you join us or renew your contract. Improving accuracy of usage estimates This gives you a better idea of how much you pay with Direct Debit, which makes it easier for both of us. It s important that we constantly review and look at ways to get this right first time. Fixed price offers Everyone wants value for money. That s why we ve created fixed price offers for our micro-business customers. They ll find the wide choice of options on the electricity renewal letter, which comes through their channel of choice post or . Farewell contact We ve started to contact the majority of our micro-business customers by letter, text and outbound calls on the day they re due to leave. This makes sure they have a final meter reading and we can answer any queries before they settle the account. Improvements to invoices We continue to ensure that we get your invoice right first time Automation of gas invoicing to make sure your invoices are produced on time Simplified invoicing for all our Business Customers Simpler account switching We re making it much easier to switch suppliers too. If you decide to leave when your contract ends, we ll do everything we can to smooth the process. We ll also keep you in the know if any problems occur. Even if we ve objected to you leaving on debt or contractual grounds, we ll still help you, so that once matters are resolved, you ll be free to go. We do everything we can to make sure you have a smooth transfer: Track progress of your transfer Keep you informed throughout the process Advise you on how best to proceed, should there be an objection or any other problem The management of the Treating Customers Fairly process and Standards of Conduct are at the heart of everything we do

7 We re aiming to be the best We want to be the best energy provider for customer service by putting our customers first in everything we do. In 2015, we launched our interactive Standing up for Customers events We put ourselves in our customers shoes and reminded everyone how important they are to npower. Whether we are doing something customer facing or not. Regular customer feedback forums By listening to our customers feedback, we can create action plans and give ourselves the responsibility to make things happen. Get it right first time Everyone who works for us has the right tools and knows how to make sure customers only need to contact us once. We ve even given our front line agents training targets, which are more customer-focused. Debt counselling service We offer a service through an assigned debt counselling team who offer advice to customers who are experiencing difficulties with payment and assist with any appropriate reference to the Business Debt Line. How are we doing? Customer satisfaction is so important to us; we talk about it every day at each level of business. If something is wrong, we do everything we can to put it right there and then. That s why we re giving our customerfacing teams more power to help close complaints at the first point of contact. We re also using complaint case studies to make our customer service even better. It s all part of our investment in Service Excellence. We need to be snappy when acknowledging complaints. If we can t resolve the issue right away, it ll be given to a complaints expert who has the skills to fix it. What are we doing? Let s look at two specific examples of action taken. 13

8 Conclusion 1. Our new look invoices Our electricity invoices are now much simpler, clearer and easier to understand. Key changes include: Customers with a dedicated Customer Relation Management service will see their specific contact details Meter serial numbers and Meter Point Administration Numbers (MPANs) will show as line items New layout with new branding Estimated non-half Hourly invoices will be flagged with advice on how to send a meter read to us The back of the invoice, containing Regulation and Compliance related information, has been reviewed and updated, with an additional paragraph around theft of power 2. Working with the regulator to put customers first Half Hourly invoicing for larger business customers Ofgem, our industry regulator, wanted electricity customers with automated meters (AMR), installed on a profile class of 05-08, to switch to Half Hourly settlement by April We were keen to ensure that we met the needs of our larger business customers including those that wanted to change quickly and others that wanted time to consider whether it was the right option for their business. By working with colleagues across the non-domestic business, we created a solution that let some customers reap the benefits sooner. Whereas the rest could have more time to switch. It s all about being honest and transparent with you. So if you do have any questions or comments, we d like to hear them. Our contact details are set out below. A copy of this report is available free of charge and can be found on our website npowerbusiness.com alternatively please call / 3320 for a printed copy. You can us your comments at: Thank you for taking the time to read our publication. Other suppliers were in a similar position with their customers so we worked with Ofgem to ensure our customers did not encounter any problems. Ofgem gave our proposal the go ahead quickly, and we have successfully made the necessary changes to facilitate Half Hourly settlement for those customers that wanted it: a good example of using collaboration and challenge to put our customers first

9 Contact us npower Business (Small to Medium Businesses) Write to us Customer Services npower PO Box 583 Hull HU5 1YU Online You ll find lots of helpful information and answers to your questions on our website: npower.com/business Social media Twitter You ll find us for customer service enquiries and issues for Micro-Business news, tips and advice We re also on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin. com/company/ npower-business Call us Phone Customer Services (Electricity) For questions about your electricity account, general queries and electricity meter readings: Monday to Thursday 8:30am-5:30pm Friday 8:30am-5pm (Gas) For questions about your gas account and gas meter readings: Business Movers Let us know if you re moving out, and get a quote for your new premises: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm Business Sales We can help if you d like a new quote or want to add sites to your contract: Monday to Thursday 8:30am-5:30pm Friday 8:30am-5pm Residential Sales Find out if you could save by switching to npower at home: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm npower Business Solutions (Medium to Large Businesses) Write to us PO Box 8007 Oldbury B69 2AL Online You ll find lots of helpful information and answers to your questions on our website: npower.com/business com Social media Twitter On Twitter, you ll find us for daily energy news and comment Call us Phone Customer Services (Electricity) For questions about your electricity account, general queries and electricity meter readings: Monday to Thursday 8.30am-5.30pm Friday 8.30am-5pm (Gas) For questions about your gas account and gas meter readings: Monday to Thursday 8:30am-5:30pm Friday 8:30am-5pm Business Movers Let us know if you re moving out, and get a quote for your new premises: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm Business Sales We can help if you d like a new quote or want to add sites to your contract: Monday to Thursday 8:30am-5:30pm Friday 8:30am-5pm Phone calls: We may monitor and/or record calls for security, quality or training purposes. Call charges to numbers beginning with 0800 are set by your telecoms provider, calls may be free if you are calling from a business mobile or landline but this will depend on your contract. Calls to our 0845 numbers will cost a maximum of 5p per minute, plus your phone company s access charge. Calls to 0330 numbers will cost you no more than 01 and 02 numbers from landlines or mobiles. If you get inclusive minutes with your package, calls on a 0330 number will be part of these. Please check with your operator for exact charges

10 npower is a registered trademark and is the trading name of Npower Direct Limited (registered no ), Npower Limited (registered no ), Npower Northern Limited (registered no ), Npower Commercial Gas Limited (registered no ) and associated companies. Registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Windmill Hill Business Park, Whitehill Way, Swindon, SN5 6PB.

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