Failing Your Customers Can Be An Expensive Business

What do Npower and Scottish Power have in common? Quite a bit as it happens. Not only are they both energy suppliers. They are also energy suppliers who, on the back of problematic roll outs of new IT systems, have totally failed to provide satisfactory customer service. Following many complaints, both companies have been investigated by Ofgem and consequently fined millions of pounds. (Scottish Power were fined £18 million and Npower ordered to pay £26 million.)

Customer service provision has fallen below acceptable standards in a number of areas. Unsatisfactory delays on the phone; being cut off and having to contact again; receiving final notices on bills after the time payment was due and being billed incorrectly are among the problems that have driven customers to complain about these energy companies.

There are lots of lessons to be learnt from these stories. Your business is nothing without your customers. Listening and responding to their requirements is paramount to your success. Though ensuring that your company's technology is up-to-date is necessary, introducing change without proper planning, testing and investment is counter productive and likely to lose you lots of customers and a lot of money to boot.