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Energy firm leads industry by using social media to help customer service

UK Power Networks has been praised at a national conference for the way it communicates with customers via social media.

From Press releases - 16 April 2013 12:00 AM

UK Power Networks has been praised at a national conference for the way it communicates with customers via social media.

Tim Field, head of press and public affairs at the Energy Networks Association, was speaking at the Social Media in the Utilities Industry conference in Kensington yesterday (April 15).

He said: “I’ve seen first hand how effective and integrated the UK Power Networks communications and customer services teams work to enhance their engagement with the customers through social media.

“The example they are presenting today will be a great one for others in the utilities sector to learn from.”

Toni Kinslow, marketing communications manager at UK Power Networks, said: “We know that our customers don’t always want to talk on the phone or send a letter and may choose to tweet instead.

“We listened to customers in 2011 on Twitter and they were asking for updates during a power cut in their area. So we felt that as a distribution company we should engage with these customers. As a result, we set up a Twitter feed and started to reply to customers who asked us a question.

“Now they can tweet us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with a special team trained for the job. We seek out conversations where we can help to make life easier for the customer. They are pleasantly surprised that we give them the answers they want without them even having to ask.”

The company has two Twitter accounts – one purely for customer services as well as one for corporate tweets. In March 2013 there were 3,344 followers – a huge increase from 689 in March 2012. And in March 2012 the company sent 288 messages while a year later in the same month it was 1,527.

The social media contacts for UK Power Networks are:
@ukpowernetworks
@ukpnnews
https://www.facebook.com/ukpowernetworks
http://www.youtube.com/user/UKPowerNetworks/

UK Power Networks was also the first in the industry to create a series of short videos showing customers step by step how to check their electricity meter or what to do with their freezer during a power cut. The company wrote the scripts and filmed scenarios that re most frequently asked by our customers. Using video made this engaging and easier to understand.