Ahead of her talk at this year’s Utility Week Energy Customer Conference, we caught up with Stephanie Trubshaw, Director of customer service at Electricity North West.

Here's what she has to say...

Q. How do you think customer expectations of energy companies have changed?
Customers live are becoming more reliant on electricity and this is driving a higher level of dissatisfaction when customers are affected by an interruption to the power, with the charges that customer face when paying for their energy their expectation of service failures is to receive higher levels of compensation. Customers are looking to the ease of service they experience with the other companies such as Amazon and want a simpler digital journey that puts them in control of their needs. There is wider social impact being felt through the  industry that energy companies should be helping the environment whilst introducing ways to provide cheaper energy and not just rely on their traditional ways of providing energy.  The energy industry needs to become a enabler for customers to understand how they can reduce bills to support families who are living in poverty and find supply’s that help protect the environment by reducing the impact on climate to protect our futures.

Q. What are the emerging trends in customer experience?
Emerging trends show that customers want to be able to seek information and support from other customers, this is driven to engage with companies that are trusted  through recommendation from other customers.  Having a support network of customers who can share their experiences and learning’s through the company shows transparency and trust. Customers managing their own data to protect themselves is an increasing priority and providing customers access through digital channels is an emerging priority.

Q. Why do you think customer satisfaction levels in energy are often lower than in other industries?
Satisfaction is affected by the perception of the industry and the costs associated to energy bills.

Q. What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Utility Week Energy Customer Conference?
Learning from other leaders the challenges they are facing and sharing the best practice to improve the reputation of the industry.