Customer Charter. A five star service

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1 Customer Charter A five star service

2 A five star service Our Customer Charter outlines how we plan to provide you with a five star service. Based on what you ve told us, we ve summarised the most important aspects of our service, what we re doing in those areas right now, what we ve got planned for the future, and how we re going to keep track of our progress. We know you re busy, so we ve kept things as simple as possible. But we want you to feel confident that you can get on with the fun things in life, safe in the knowledge that we re taking care of your energy supply - doing the legwork, removing the hassle, and working on the issues that matter to you. Thanks for being with Spark, it s great to have you with us. Chris Gauld CEO Customer Charter

3 Customer Service When you needed us, were we there? How easy was it to get in touch? How helpful were the team? Did you get the answer you were looking for? Our five stars It s all very well saying that we ll provide you with a five star service, but what does that mean in real life? Well, our aim is simple we want you to be so satisfied that you ll give us the highest possible rating: 5/5. To help us focus on what s important, we ll break this down into five key areas: Billing Was your bill on time? Was it accurate? Was it clear and easy to understand? Complaint Handling How quickly did we respond to your complaint? Was the complaint handled efficiently and professionally? Was it resolved quickly and to your satisfaction? Value for Money Does your tariff give you a good deal? Does the service you receive represent good value for the money you spend? Energy Saving Advice What information is available to you? How good is that information? Are we taking action to help you cut your bills and reduce your consumption to benefit the environment? We ll go into each of these areas in a bit more detail to let you know what we re doing now and what we ve got planned. 2 Customer Charter

4 Customer Service What we re doing now What s next Keeping our call times low On average, you should be able to speak to someone in around three minutes which is quicker than the Big Six and we re always working to improve waiting times. What s more, you can check our indicative call waiting times on the website before you call, so you know what to expect. We know you ve got better things to do than be hanging on the phone, so if it s before 7pm and you re waiting for more than 90 seconds, we ll offer you a call back. Keeping call costs down too We ve replaced all of our existing 0845 numbers with new 0345 numbers. Calls to these numbers are included in your bundled minutes from a mobile so there re no nasty surprises when your bill comes in. Even if you don t have any minutes on your contract, or don t have a contract at all, it ll still cost the same as a local call to a number starting 01 or 02. Offering you more ways to get in touch We ve invested in a great live web chat system to give you another way to get in touch. It s great from a mobile device, on the move, or for times when you can t make a call and it s often faster than calling altogether. If you d rather , that s fine too. You should expect a response in around two business days. Improving our website and communications As well as our new even-more-functional, fully-adaptive website, we ve also redesigned our letters and s to make them clearer and friendlier. It s right that you should always be clear about the choices that you re facing, so we ve broken it all down for you in a straightforward way. You ll know the real cost of each payment method, and how you can save money at any time new customer or not. Listening to what you think We ve created our own open and honest review site so we re always up-todate with your feedback. We re happy to say that we re already scoring well and using all your reviews and comments to help keep improving. The Spark App Soon you ll be able to check your balance, pay a bill, set up a direct debit, enter a meter reading and more with our new Spark Energy App. We understand that our customers want easy access to all aspects of their account from their mobile device both at home and on the move. Not only that, over 30% of our online traffic comes from mobiles and tablets, and that number is set to grow, so it s a no-brainer for us to provide an optimised solution for customers that works seamlessly with, and takes advantage of, all of the additional features of your device. Specialist teams We re working to develop our customer service and support staff, training separate teams with different specialist skillsets. We ll tailor their abilities to your needs and make sure that there s always someone around with the knowledge and experience to deal with your issues. Being there when you need us We realise that energy never stops, so we re going to look at new ways to be there when we know that you need us, whether that s at peak call times or out of hours. The first step is to develop a new technology for our website whereby you can quiz a virtual assistant, 24 hours a day, to get the answers to most of your questions. Helping you manage your money Our new partnership with independent debt management organisation PayPlan will provide the team with the training they need to identify customers with financial difficulties and offer them a free consultation to get back on track. PayPlan have over 20 years experience dealing with people s money issues and, as well as training our staff and consulting our customers, we ll be working with them to produce loads of useful info for our website that can accessed by anyone, any time. Five star customer service 4 Customer Charter

5 What s next More bills right first time We know that one of the biggest reasons people have to call us is to check that their bill is correct. In most cases, an up-to-date meter reading from the customer will sort things out, but we re investing in our sytems and databases to make sure that our bills are as accurate as possible, first time, every time. Fewer estimated bills It s not always easy to remember to send us a meter reading so we re reviewing the way we communicate with you to remind you. Whether it s by text message, , letter, or through our app; we ll work harder to keep you up-to-date and your account on track. Making it clearer if your bill is an estimate We ll be doing more design work on our bills and statements to make it even clearer if they ve been based on estimates or actual reads, so you always know where you stand. Billing What we re doing now Bills and statements you can understand We ve given our bills and statements a clearer, cleaner design, all set out in plain English. They re easy to follow throughout, with all the most important information up front and easy to find. The information you d need to switch With our new bills and statements it s easier than ever to find the information you need to compare your tariff against others in the market. We ll give you your Tariff Comparison Rates and explain what they mean, so you ll always be on top of things. Smart Meters We re fully behind the national roll-out of Smart Meters to help ultimately make estimated bills a thing of the past. In the meantime, we ll continue to contact you each month and ask for a meter read - just to keep everything right. Five star billing 6 Customer Charter

6 Complaint handling What we re doing now Keeping things simple If you re unhappy, our complaints process has 3 simple steps which are outlined on our website at sparkenergy.co.uk/useful-info/complaints. We hope that we can resolve your issues quickly by speaking to one of the team, but if you want to raise a formal complaint then you ll know where you stand every step of the way. Responding within two business days We ll always aim to respond to your complaint within two business days, outlining the main issues that you ve highlighted and what we re doing to address them. If there s been a delay we ll always contact you to let you know what s happening and how long it s going to take. Getting to the root of the problem We ve set up a panel of representatives from across Spark who meet regularly to look at all your feedback and investigate any common problems. Our aim is to look beyond the immediate issue, into our systems and processes and address the root cause to avoid the same problems. Using social media We ve dedicated a team of staff to monitoring social media for comments or complaints, opening up another channel for customers to get in touch and voice their opinions. What s next Software upgrades Our new management system will automatically assign each query or complaint with a unique reference number which we ll carry through each interaction with you. We ll be able to efficiently track each stage of your complaint, directing you back to the same agent from first contact through to resolution. You can be confident that you re being served by the right person with the right information every time. Five star complaint handling 8 Did you know? We re open and honest about how we re doing, and you can keep track of our complaints performance on the website at sparkenergy. co.uk/complaints-performance. If you ve got any feedback about your experiences or any suggestions for the future we d love to hear them. Get in touch on

7 Value for money What we re doing now Our price guarantee Why pay over the odds for your energy? At Spark, you ll always find a tariff that s cheaper than the average annual dual fuel bill, as published by Ofgem. And if our energy prices increase, we ll let you know at least 30 days before so there are no nasty surprises. Tenants always start on our cheapest standard tariff If you join us as a lettings customer, we ll always make sure that you start on our cheapest standard tariff. Our new communications make it really clear what you need to do to stay on this great low rate, and we ll always give you 30 days to get settled in first. A great rate for prepayment customers too Our prepayment tariff is one of the lowest of its kind on the market, meaning you can make great savings whatever your meter type. Keeping you informed Whether you re a new customer or you ve been with us a while, our new bills and statements will always let you know if you could be saving and how to do it. With readily available Tariff Comparison Rates too, you ll always know where you stand. What s next New tariff options We re developing a new tariff for the social and affordable housing market. It ll be a really strong offering which opens up some exclusive affordable rates for those on lower incomes. We feel that this new tariff offers a real opportunity for Spark to be socially conscious and make a difference to the lives of people in need. New payment options We ll also be launching a new tariff that utilises automatic payments from your debit card. This offers a more flexible alternative to the Direct Debit, meaning that you ll only pay for the energy you actually use each month. You ll save money versus our Monthly Premium tariff because you pay automatically, which reduces the risk of building up debt on your account. New technology We re investigating new technologies including microgeneration, so that we can offer communities the opportunity to generate their own electricity and hot water using brand new economical techniques pioneered in Japan. Our exclusive deal with the manufacturer of the world s most efficient microgenerators will provide opportunities which are good for the consumer, good for the community and good for the environment. Five star value for money 10

8 What s next Monthly energy saving tips We ve recently been developing our blog and social media presence, creating original and interesting content to engage with our customers. One topic that we ll be promoting more of is energy efficiency, with a monthly blog and regular Facebook and Twitter updates to keep you informed. Smart thermostats We re excited to be working on a new smart thermostat product, which will allow you to access and control your heating online via your PC or an easy-to-use smartphone app. The thing that separates our smart thermostat from other suppliers is the ability to control two separate zones within the home. So you needn t waste energy heating both upstairs and downstairs, if you know you re only going to be in one area at a time. We hope that this new product will offer significant savings versus traditional thermostats and even over other smart thermostats in the market. Energy saving advice What we re doing now Consumption shown bills and statements Our newly redesigned bills and statements offer a visual comparison between your current monthly usage figures and the same month last year, to highlight where you ve made savings or perhaps need to work harder. Energy saving advice at every touch point It s our ultimate aim to fully integrate energy saving advice into every stage of your journey. We ve got a long way to go, but we want to be able to offer useful, achievable and relevant advice every step of the way. Energy Pioneers To help lead the way and show you exactly how you could save both energy and money, we ll be recruiting a group of Energy Pioneers. Our pioneers will be real customers who we know could be saving by making a few simple changes. We ll show them how and follow them through their journey to being fully engaged and efficient consumers inspiring others to act now and take control of their energy. Five star energy saving advice 12

9 Measuring success How will we know how well we re doing? Customer satisfaction survey To give you a five star service, we need to know what matters to you most, so we carry out a satisfaction survey every three months. The survey is conducted by our independent research partners ensuring that your responses are kept entirely anonymous. What s more, we use Which? survey methods, to keep our comparisons accurate and our standards as high as the best in our industry. Sparkenergyreviews.co.uk We ll continue to encourage customers to use our own review site, along with our satisfaction survey and other review sites to ensure that we re getting the broadest and most accurate picture of our performance. Recommend us to a friend Ultimately, we want you to be so happy that you ll recommend us to your friends and family. This will be our most important measure of success, so once a year we ll ask you how likely you are to do it. Five star service To see how we re doing visit sparkenergyreviews.co.uk 14

10 Save time, visit Manage your account Get your bills Make a payment us Call us am 8pm weekdays 9am 2pm Saturdays Give meter readings Tell us if you re moving And handy live chat too If you d like to talk, our call centre is UK-based and you ll find us on Facebook and Twitter too. For domestic customers BOOKLET/CUSTOMERCHARTER Printed: July 2014 Live chat Say hello Facebook and Ettrick Riverside, Dunsdale Road, Selkirk TD7 5EB

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