Parker Software’s WhosOn live chat tool is helping ScottishPower support its customers
As one of the United Kingdom’s top six power companies, ScottishPower supplies energy to more than five million homes and businesses across the country. Now owned by one of the world’s largest energy firms, Spanish company Iberdrola, ScottishPower has been around since 1901 and has successfully kept ahead of a rapidly evolving industry since then.
ScottishPower enhanced its digital customer communications at the end of 2014, and one of the core goals was to develop cost effective ways of supporting its existing gas and electric customers without stretching the capacity of its team. It quickly became apparent that a live chat tool was the ideal way to keep everyone happy.
The Human Touch
Asking consumers to rely more heavily on online portals and digital services can be risky, as they can feel side-lined and distanced from their suppliers, especially frustrating when things start to go awry. ScottishPower wanted to make sure its customer support teams were able to provide a helping hand exactly when needed, which is why they chose an eight user WhosOn account from Parker Software. WhosOn is Parker Software’s award winning live chat tool with wide-ranging benefits for a variety of customer service, sales and retail applications.
Live chat affords an online customer the opportunity to chat to a company employee without having to search for a phone number and wait around on hold. ScottishPower’s customers have benefitted greatly, particularly with regard to problem solving.
“We were seeing a relatively high number of error reports from the user log-in pages,” said Gordon Dyet, social media and digital communications manager at ScottishPower. “After some investigation it was clear that a strong percentage of these errors were user generated, and we felt it was important to address this issue and support our customers. After all, we all know how frustrating it can be trying to get online forms to cooperate!
“WhosOn was the ideal solution. Because it is so flexible, we were able to embed a live chat window with our error messages, immediately providing customers with a way to reach out for advice. This proactive approach was positively received by users and has driven down the number of errors from this section of the website overall.”
With an average of 300 contacts via WhosOn each week, the energy provider’s customers responded well to the service. One of the key reasons for this is quality.
It can be easy to assume that a live chat tool would be simple to implement in the modern text and instant messaging environment consumers are used to. However, all too often companies can fall into the trap of failing to train operatives in both software and best practices.
“The live chat tool allows us to respond more efficiently to customer enquiries instead of fielding large numbers of phone calls,” explained Dyet. “In addition, the training that Parker Software provided for our agents really helped us deliver the same quality of service our customers have come to expect from our phone lines via a text-based tool.”
Support, Support, Support
ScottishPower’s team of coders were able to navigate the expected technological hiccups that are inevitable when adding new technology into an existing system thanks to the comprehensive material provided in Parker Software’s resource centre. In addition, Parker Software’s designers worked closely with ScottishPower to deliver a custom design so the live chat tool matched the existing brand.
“The whole point of WhosOn, as well as our wider suite, is to make things easier and more streamlined for our customers,” said Stephen Parker, founder and CEO of Parker Software. “[…]even off-the-shelf technology can be frustrating to install if there’s even a slight difference in the way an existing system operates compared to what the new tool is configured for. That’s why we have built up a strong technical support team and resource centre that can help our clients find the exact answers they need without hours of searching.
It’s clear from ScottishPower’s 2015 figures showing reduced complaints and an increase in complaints being resolved by the following day, that WhosOn has helped the energy giant transition into this digital era.
Visit Parker Software’s website here.