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Case Study

First Utility

“I can’t speak highly enough of Resolver” – Andy Eadle, Director of Customer Service, First Utility

First Utility’s Andy Eadle is passionate about delivering a first class customer service experience for customers (he’s very proud of the customer’s Good Housekeeping reader recommended status). But he’s pragmatic enough to know that in the real world, even the slickest customer service operation will still see some mistakes made, causing customers to complain. This is especially true in energy, an industry with an historically low level of customer trust and enormous complexity. Managing complaints effectively and quickly is therefore vital.

Fifteen months after joining forces with Resolver, Andy says that his customer complaints process has improved significantly – as an example, they are 38% less likely to go to the Ombudsman when they raise an issue through the platform. He puts this down to Resolver’s unique ability to get right to the root cause of the complaint – meaning First Utility can act quickly, confident that they are taking the right actions.

‘The customer can log on to their case file through Resolver, can clearly understand the process they’re going through with their issue, and can see the journey they’ve been on – plus the latest response from us. It’s all neatly packaged, it prevents repeat contact, and it helps build customer trust and confidence in us.’

Andy has been particularly impressed with Resolver’s ability to predict who is most likely to escalate their complaint – not always an obvious call. ‘It’s not about “who shouts loudest gets the quickest response” – you might have a customer who is happy to wait a week or two for their issue to be resolved, whereas another customer might be losing sleep over theirs. Resolver helps us to identify who is who and consider the customer impact.’

Another huge benefit has been Resolver’s smart capabilities when it comes to customers who struggle with formatting their complaints. ‘The Resolver process tends to change the customer’s language,’ notes Andy. ‘Customers become more factual, less emotional. It then becomes easier for our handlers to understand the nature of the complaint.’ As an example, Andy cites a customer who repeatedly used jargon-strewn legal templates to make his emotionally charged complaints, but without ever actually saying what action he wanted. ‘But then he complained through Resolver – you wouldn’t believe it was the same customer. Resolver made it much more factual – he had to answer a set of questions and it got us both  into a much more sensible place where we could work with him and resolve his issue.’

Having a third party to deal with issues is also a boon when dealing with customers who prefer not to talk directly to the company – such as those who find themselves behind with payments, or who are less confident raising complaints. As Andy puts it, ‘Having Resolver as an independent name that they can use is a really good way of helping these customers to engage’.

When it comes to working with Resolver, Andy is unequivocal. ‘I can’t speak highly enough of them,’ he says. ‘They’re really flexible, they’ve provided really useful insight and they are very supportive. I see it very much as a partnership that will continue to evolve and grow.’

‘I’d recommend them to any business that wants to build its customer trust and customer service.’

How First Utility has benefitted from its partnership with Resolver

  • Customers are 38% less likely to go to the Ombudsman when they raise an issue through the Resolver platform.
  • Better and more appropriate responses to complaints.
  • Clear, online case files mean both sides are kept informed about issues and understand the journey.
  • Complex cases are made easier to understand on both sides because of Resolver’s formatting.
  • Improved working practices: First Utility has changed the frequency and the way that it contacts its customers.
  • Vulnerable customers are more empowered to engage with the company using Resolver.
  • Positive feedback has grown, whether it’s direct feedback to First Utility or submitted via social media.
  • Consumer trust and confidence has grown.