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Here to talk, whatever the weather!

Posted on 22 October 2013 09:57 AM by cotte1j

Making sure our customers can speak to us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year takes a lot of juggling!

If your power's been knocked out by a lightning storm, one of the first things you'll probably do is reach for the phone to find out when it will be back on. It's my job to make sure your phone call is answered by one of my 90-strong team, 24 hours a day.

My typical day
I usually work 8am to 6pm, and a typical day starts with emails and a Google search showing stories relevant to UK Power Networks. Then we do a review of the performances from the day before.

As call centre manager I ensure my team are ready to answer phone calls and provide the best customer care. We receive calls about a wide range of power cuts, new electricity connections or general enquiries.

At the same time, we ensure our customers are updated by text, social media and pre-recorded telephone messages when they call in. And we make sure we answer customers emails, customer complaints, online enquiries and call customers back with regular updates.

Not surprisingly, this 24/7 operation means we have to work in a meticulously planned way, with every detail attended to and all concerns considered.

One thing we can't predict though is the weather (although I wish I could!). Rain, wind, lightning and snow can damage electricity cables and we get much busier in the call centre when the weathers bad.

So a lot of my time is taken up making sure I've got enough call advisors in and briefed on the latest events, to answer all the phone calls. So my role is about asking other employees to come in, making sure I don’t have too much sickness or people on holiday, introducing new starters and so on.

My busiest day of the year so far…
One day recently stays in my mind, a day of bad lightning causing power cuts which was my busiest day of the year. We took 11,330 calls which was significant volume in comparison with a normal day of approximately 2,500 calls

That was a busy day -  the team was great and pulled out all the stops to make sure our customers were kept informed. I slept well that night!

I love the people part of my job!
I have a background in relationship management and the people part of the job is one I really enjoy; it is great seeing someone progress within an organisation, achieving something they didn't believe to be possible. I have a great team who are always willing to learn more and help our customers more and more.

From the moment I get in, to when I leave it is a case of juggling priorities because the work we do in the call centre affects up to eight million customers and 5,000 staff at UK Power Networks – plus our contractors.

It's so important from a business perspective to get those priorities correct, but all the time it’s our customers who are the main priority.

 


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