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As the way customers engage with their utility suppliers and general purchasing behaviours change, the rise of the contact centre world is showing no signs of slowing. By 2027, the industry is expected to reach a value of $496 billion (Statistica), and in turn, demand for outsourcing contact centre services is due to grow.   

With that in mind, in this final instalment of Collaborative Innovation: Utilities & The Customer Experience, we dive into the collaboration between outsourcers and utility suppliers (and organisations in the ecosystem).   

When it comes to utilities and outsourcing, one of the key considerations should be – as we discussed earlier in this blog series – how to combine back-office processes and customer services. You can increase your value for money with outsourcing by creating a team capable of handling accounts from end to end – a team of super-agents, if you will. This increases the scope of services you can outsource to your provider and further eases your burden.   

 

Outsourcing Considerations 

Here at DDC OS, we have provided such services to the utility industry for a lifetime. From new entrants to challenger brands and established providers, we have experienced a host of challenges and have relished in delivering successful solutions for each. Such a range of projects has given us great insight into hitting the ground running with suppliers. So, here we discuss what you might want to consider when looking to collaborate with an outsourcer:  

  • The Prenuptial.
    Outsourcing can be scary for some, especially if it’s the first time. The client may feel apprehensive and worried they would lose their connection with their service and customers. We embrace this and work with our clients to test their exit plan as they would test for disaster recovery. It’s great to be open about this – portability is so important, and we make sure we construct our solutions with this in mind. This approach builds loyalty!
     
  • Measurable Outcomes.
    At some point somewhere, the decision to outsource was made with a business case in mind…cost, experience and scale. Keep that front and centre and measure constantly; after all, you will need to report your progress to the board!
     
  • Outsource for Value, Not Just for Cost Savings.
    It’s really simple but get it wrong and you end up with the wrong type of supplier that can be very damaging to your customer’s brand.
     
  • Integrated.
    It’s a bit like collaboration but better…it must still be part of your business with the same systems, services and promises.
     
  • Outsourcing Maturity.
    You may be very mature in your outsourcing approach, and this might be the third or fourth generation…but don’t be complacent. Use this time to re-establish a connection with your services, lift the bonnet, ask the tough questions, fix something – don’t just move, fire, and forget. 

 

People, Expertise and Experience  

We’re delighted to have Jade Gash, Director of Utilities & Telecoms, here to discuss her experience of new and existing relationships with clients.  

 “The initial stages of a new project are essential. They can also be some of the most enjoyable; my role is all about building relationships, and discovery sessions are fundamental to that… the free cake often helps! That aside, clear, objective and honest communication is critical at this early stage. 

Here, the vital point is to understand the client’s objectives, ensure that we are a suitable partner, and then develop an appropriate solution to present.  

The onboarding phase is always challenging but in all the right ways! We introduce our wider team to the project, and things begin to take shape. Our early discovery sessions help to predict any bumps in the road so that we can really hit the ground running.  

The next phase is often the most exciting! Once campaigns are in a state of business as usual, we can begin looking at innovation and continuous improvement. That might be something day to day that we look to improve in a specific area or developing new reporting. Or it may be something more substantial, such as collaborating with our extensive network to deliver innovation that creates either operational or cost efficiencies for our clients.”   

 

Why DDC OS? 

OK, so you’ve got this far, and you’re ready to start your outsourcing journey, but in such a competitive market you are wondering, why should we choose DDC OS? Well, here are a few reasons that we believe make us the partner of choice:   

Extensive Experience:
Since 2015, we have been working with utility organisations; from suppliers to metering and software, we have implemented solutions at various stages of the customer journey. Because of this, we have a unique insight into the challenges that an outsourcer can support with.  

A Customer-Centric Approach:
As an established customer service provider, our 30+ years of knowledge help us understand a customer’s various touchpoints and deliver a service based on empathy and empowerment; we become an extension of your brand.   

Driving CX & Operational Efficiencies:
By being able to support customers through our contact centre and manage their accounts and ensure that behind the scenes are operating effectively, our multiskilled team can deliver better value: one team, one experience. 
 

“We hope you’ve enjoyed our short blog series in recent weeks; we are so excited to be at Utility Week Live. It would be great to talk about your outsourcing needs at the event or sooner! Please feel free to get in touch with me. Best wishes, Jade.” 

 

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