A flexible outsourcer to the energy sector
Most people in the UK will use the services of an energy company at least once a day, but it’s a challenging business to be in right now. With tight profit margins, heavy regulation and rising costs, our offshoring solutions can help your business maintain a profit.
This can be achieved in multiple ways:
- reduced operating costs
- reducing losses through settlements
- retaining existing customers
- winning the right new customers
- maximising revenue through better billing
- support of smart meter installation
We have experts with experience who can find solutions to the challenges you are facing, in every area of your business.
Chief Commercial Officer
Before joining Sigma Connected, Ben spent 20 years working in energy markets, navigating through many of the opportunities and challenges of the industry.
“My goal is to get the best outcomes for customers while ensuring they have to use minimum effort. I’m also passionate about finding ways to support customers in fuel poverty.”
Director of Energy Services
With a background of two decades in energy retail across the whole customer lifecycle, Rob’s detailed knowledge of the energy market ensures we are right on point with the knowledge and skills required to support our energy clients in a dynamic and ever changing landscape.
Our services to the energy sector
We offer a range of services for debt recovery solutions, from early-stage collections to late-stage collections, on to our own DCA.
Some clients appoint us to manage the entire end-to-end process, while others utilise different aspects of our service offering to deliver outstanding results.
Our debt collection services typically involve providing specialist teams for a range of outbound and inbound campaigns. Our services are set up to meet your specific requirements and ways of working, and we pride ourselves on our agility and flexibility, setting up delivery within two weeks of taking the brief.
Once a new customer has chosen to switch energy suppliers, it’s critical that their onboarding process is as smooth as possible.
At Sigma Connected, we focus on creating a connection between our clients and their customers, creating a positive experience and building brand loyalty.
Operating in the UK, South Africa and Australia, we have proven our ability to provide a full range of services to energy companies which require long-term support or assistance with short-term spikes in demand.
We have considerable experience in supplier of last resort (SoLR) activities.
Customers need immediate assistance from day one of an SoLR taking over and that demand can be overwhelming for existing customer service teams. We can offer multiple solutions to provide that support.
We are able to bring valuable insight to ensure bid accuracy, followed by a smooth transition, until you are back to business as usual.
We generally support our clients across all four phases of the SoLR process.
- Phase 1 – Reactive
Our teams are able to deal rapidly with the initial contact from worried customers, either by phone, email or chat. Our skilled temporary workforce can be mobilised, or ramped up and down, with very little notice.
This phase typically lasts between 3-7 weeks and is expedited using a ‘bring your own device’ concept, with FAQs provided by the client.
- Phase 2 – Proactive
This phase generally lasts anything from 4 to 16 weeks and provides a more detailed level of service to customers, using your own systems.
It provides breathing space while you work out the longer-term strategy for managing your new customers. What follows is either a migration into core systems or a decision to manage as a standalone brand.
Importantly, it means your customers get the support they need without putting additional strain on your in-house team.
- Phase 3 – Care
At this point, 3 to 4 months in, you should be returning to business as usual, with initial data problems having been resolved. Customers are into a billing and payment cycle, they understand their tariff and are safely on board.
Skilled in your systems and processes, we are now able to continue providing our services either as a ring-fenced group or as an additional resource to your existing team.
- Phase 4 – Retention
Finally, having been moved to a different supplier, there is a high risk that customers will switch again.
We advise a bespoke long-term retention programme, focusing on the positives of your business and potentially offering customers incentives to stick around. We can support these retention programmes by providing a dedicated team trained in objection handling.
With consumers demanding quicker response times in the digital age, communication channels are expanding. Customers expect a seamless experience, regardless of the device or communication channel they choose. They want to pick up where they left off on one channel and continue the experience on another.
These changes in communication channels present an opportunity for you and your business. Email and web chat can be handled very effectively through cost-effective offshore services and we have the technology to create an omnichannel, seamless experience for your customers.
We support all customer contact, both onshore in the UK and offshore, in South Africa.
Around 50% of energy consumers are dissatisfied with the way in which their complaints are handled by UK companies, and an even higher percentage of customers are dissatisfied with the response time.
This is a key area of focus for us. We do things differently, providing resources in a low-cost offshore location in South Africa, and we can help you offer the service expected from your customers.
With expertise and experience in the energy sector, we can represent your brand appropriately.
We offer a range of services for early-stage to late-stage debt collections. We can manage the entire end-to-end process or deliver selected services to work alongside your internal processes and staff.
Our team of customer advisors who focus on early contact are specialists in the crucial early stages of the arrears process. They provide support and appropriate solutions to your customers who are struggling to pay their debt, before it becomes unmanageable.
We also ensure a seamless transition between early and late collections with our in-house agency, McLaren Credit Services.
In addition to customer contact services, we provide cost effective back-office processing, either onshore or offshore. Our South African operation provides the perfect solution for complex activities or processes that require customer contact.
These services include:
- Email enquiries that require voice contact
- Metering queries
- Erroneous transfers
- Feed in tariff
- Prepayment misdirected payments
- Change of occupier
- Middle office work (handoffs from call centre)
- Commissioning or re-commissioning of smart meters
- Direct debit reassessment
Financial hardship can affect anyone and can be caused by a huge range of situations including illness, stress and the disadvantages people face. These situations and circumstances can also change from day to day.
Our customer advisors are experienced at identifying vulnerability and potential vulnerability, and they can connect with your customers to offer the necessary support. Regular contact can be maintained with your customers to continue support and to take pre-emptive practical measures to help them.
Treating your customers fairly is part of our DNA and we can offer them support with regular conversations around affordability assessments, relevant hardship schemes and free money advice.
Our award winning ReachOut service also helps a growing number of our UK clients to engage with customers who have disengaged and who potentially have problem debt.
Over half the UK population now have smart meters installed, which brings fresh challenges for energy companies.
This means there are many millions of prepayment meters still to be fitted, which will require appointments to be booked, while customers are already facing issues with how the fitted meters operate.
We can support you with both these challenges. As a specialist in the energy sector, our team already fixes hundreds of smart meter issues every day, through remote processes and engineer visits.
At Sigma Connected, we have the geographic reach, the knowledge and the flexibility to help you meet your customers’ demands.
Get in touch with our team today
If you’d like to chat to our team about the options available to your business, you can fill out our handy contact form below – we just need some basic information to get the ball rolling and from there, we can start to formulate a bespoke action plan that works for your business!