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Shaping the message through partnership

Posted on 23 December 2015 04:23 PM by lang01j

It is not unusual for companies to work with charities. In fact it is becoming increasingly popular as a way for companies to reach out to their customers. UK Power Networks is no exception to this, and we have positive working relationships with a number of charities working across our geographic footprint.

For us though, there is another element to our work with charities. That is to help us find new ways of engaging with all our customers and making sure that the full cross section is aware of the support and services that we offer.

Reaching out
This is where our fantastic relationship with the Royal Association for the Deaf comes in. It has helped us reach out to Deaf and hard of hearing customers who perhaps were not previously aware of who we are and the services we provide.

As well as helping us get the message out, they have also provided us with valuable expertise, and practical measures to help us engage with the Deaf community. This has included being the first electricity network operator to launch a live web chat on our website, which is a useful communication channel suitable for Deaf or hard of hearing customers. We are also the first to publish videos offering useful power cut advice in British Sign Language.

Understanding needs
In addition to this we are continuing to take steps to ensure that our staff, from our customer facing call centre and field staff, to our back office Human Resources staff are trained to understand the needs of Deaf customers.

Dr Jan Sheldon, chief executive of the Royal Association for Deaf People said:
“We work with Deaf people to help to make mainstream services more accessible to them. Our partnership with UK Power Networks (UKPN) is enormously beneficial to Deaf people. For the first time ever, Deaf people have access. It is clear that UK Power Networks do care about making their service accessible to Deaf people."

What all of these measures have in common is in linking in with our wider efforts to ensure that our full range of services are available to all our customers. Yes we could try and do this on our own, but it makes sense to use the expertise and guidance of our partners at RAD, and we can now see the great results of doing just that.

We will never rest on our laurels though, and we are hoping this is just the beginning of a long partnership with the most important people, our customers, being the beneficiaries.

Watch our British Sign Language videos.

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