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"Incorrect" message from comparison websites and a suggestion of how to improve this.


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I’m not party to the communications but my understanding is that comparison websites (or at a minimum mse’s cheap energy site) tell switchers “YOUR SWITCH IS IN PROGRESS...”

This is incorrect or at the very least ambiguous because the switch isn’t in progress until the customer completes the verification progress. Whilst I agree that the majority of switchers do complete, some are still “misled” by this and don’t realise that they need take further action to complete.

This need fixing, the best place to fix it would be at the comparison site end, perhaps by annotation of the message from them to say to complete your switch click here (or whatever other solution may be forthcoming.)

If a customer ends up in the community saying what’s happened to my switch then the system has failed that customer.


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Hey @woz 

I totally get where you’re coming from on this. 

But…. we’ve no powers to tell price comparison sites how they describe their services.

We do make it clear that all switches have to be verified. 

 

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hi @Marc 

I thought that might be the case, but it still needs a coat of thinking about as some are still falling through the net.

This isn’t a criticism, I’m just wondering what can be done to make the process of the prospective switcher  knowing that the switch won’t happen unless they take the next step, bombproof.

Hey @woz 

This isn’t a criticism, I’m just wondering what can be done

Yep, hear you! I know! It’s a good shout. We’re going to see what we can do. :thumbsup::slight_smile:

I don’t know what Pure Planet sends out when they get a comparison site switch, and obviously you will always have some people who get the MSE message of

 “YOUR SWITCH IS IN PROGRESS...”
 

(Does anyone actually know the entire contents of an MSE/MSM email, perhaps the rest of it does explain things better?)
 

Then pay no attention to anything else they receive.

Perhaps the email from Pure Planet needs to be as ‘loud’ and have 

 “PLEASE CONFIRM YOU WISH TO SWITCH  YOUR ENERGY SUPPLY TO PURE PLANET..”

As the header?

Then an explanation something along the lines of:

Dear …

MSE/MSM have informed us that you wish to switch to Pure Planet for your energy, you should have recently received an email from MSE/MSM stating that ‘your switch is in progress.’
Pure Planet cannot proceed with your switch until you confirm that this is your express wish by clicking the ‘CONFIRM’ button below,
(or copying and pasting this link, into your browser?).

(Provide some legalese/feel good reasons as to why Pure Planet has to do this/does this out of the goodness of its own heart etc.)


Then put a note at the end that:

 ‘if we have not received confirmation from yourself in … days, we will send a second email, if there is no confirmation from either email at the end of a total of …. days - Pure Planet will assume that you no longer wish to switch to us.

Some people may take umbrage and assume you are treating them like idiots, but hopefully less than will think, ‘ooh isn’t that nice? they are checking I actually meant to do it’


Just a thought.

Mark
 

Perhaps the email from Pure Planet needs to be as ‘loud’ and have 

 “PLEASE CONFIRM YOU WISH TO SWITCH  YOUR ENERGY SUPPLY TO PURE PLANET..”

As the header?

Then an explanation something along the lines of:

Dear …

MSE/MSM have informed us that you wish to switch to Pure Planet for your energy, you should have recently received an email from MSE/MSM stating that ‘your switch is in progress.’
Pure Planet cannot proceed with your switch until you confirm that this is your express wish by clicking the ‘CONFIRM’ button below,
(or copying and pasting this link, into your browser?).
 

Hey @Gwyndy 

Currently the email is ACTION: Complete your switch

Which we think is pretty clear!

There needs to be a balance. We don’t want to scare people off! Something which comes across as overly alarming, or overly formal even, may prevent people from completing the switch.

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 I’m not sure the thrust of this thread has emerged fully appreciated. What this thread is really about is failing some people who probably thought long and hard about switching only to fall at the last hurdle. 

If you’re bothered about frightening people off with the wrong message then use a series of nudges - I know that you decided one of the nudges should be a call from your S.A. call centre. Perhaps another email is needed to explain that if the switch is not completed it will lapse, and the almost customer may need to contact the comparison site to cancel if they need to apply again.

 

 

Hey @woz @Gwyndy 

Thanks for persisting on this. I've spent some time talking to our promotions team, and there have been improvements made over the last few weeks.
Apart from the clear messaging in our email I mentioned above (ACTION: Complete your switch) we've also been talking to the price comparison sites. 
They now include the info in their email to the switcher that they have to complete the switch to PP. This same info is now part of the call 'script' used by the PCWs' telesales teams, when they ring someone to help them out.

So all that'll help. And I've marked this one as implemented. :thumbsup:
Since June about 50k or so new people have joined Pure Planet. Many of them from the PCWs so although we do get a few posts in the community from people wondering if they've switched, the process is obviously working for most. In a perfect world nobody would be confused by it, of course!


A bonus question from me :slight_smile:

Some energy suppliers don't ask people switching to them via a PCW to confirm the switch. Once they say ‘yes’ on the PCW, they’ve switched. Abd some, like us, do.
Which is better?
 

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A bonus question from me 

Some energy suppliers don't ask people switching to them via a PCW to confirm the switch. Once they say ‘yes’ on the PCW, they’ve switched. Abd some, like us, do.
Which is better?

My answer would be, which causes you the least problem? Are people more likely to contact you because they can't respond to your email,  or because they need reassurance that the switch is going through OK. The welcoming pack should provide that?

Stephen

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My answer is ‘which is more reassuring or easier for the customer,?’ This is a huge minefield for such a simple question.

First of all it ALMOST only matters where it goes wrong...in most cases if the switch is seamless the consumer carries on and all they see is their direct debit and their lights stay on. Some people are happy with that. But no communication or interaction with PP (so what you might say...)

If CUCKER (that’s my pretend comparison website a.k.a Compare Utilities Checker) take on responsibility and there is a problem with the switch, presumably CUCKER get the headache of the customers’ ire without any control. At that point if it’s gone wrong the biggest issue seems to be that the customer isn’t sure what to do, so that’s the important part for PP to cover with communication. (as some may just abandon the switch or go elsewhere - that’s not a good outcome )

The upside of PP sending the “please complete” mail gives a modicum of control to PP that they don’t have if CUCKER deal with it all, and more importantly it steers the customer to PP /a relationship with PP, and away from CUCKER who are just a switch facilitator.

The downside is in the odd case (as has happened) it results in the customer cancelling because they lost patience about contacting PP, sometimes ignorance is bliss..

I  can see that PP doing the verification potentially gives PP a little more reason to take out the asprin, but it gives more control to PP and more awareness to the customer of who you are.

Financially (for PP not for the customer) it’s better if CUCKER do it because most switches go ahead without issue but from a customer interaction point of view it’s better for PP to send the mail.

I’m leaning towards the latter but with the caveat that it has to be very well communicated.

The second caveat that if most other companies who are on CUCKER don’t send out a mail then your hand is forced but it gives CUCKER more control than they ought to have. 

 

 

If CUCKER (that’s my pretend comparison website a.k.a Compare Utilities Checker) take on responsibility and there is a problem with the switch, presumably CUCKER get the headache of the customers’ ire without any control. At that point if it’s gone wrong the biggest issue seems to be that the customer isn’t sure what to do, so that’s the important part for PP to cover with communication. (as some may just abandon the switch or go elsewhere - that’s not a good outcome )

The upside of PP sending the “please complete” mail gives a modicum of control to PP that they don’t have if CUCKER deal with it all, and more importantly it steers the customer to PP /a relationship with PP, and away from CUCKER who are just a switch facilitator.


I thought based on some of the comments we’ve received that some sites basically abandon the customer after they’ve ‘passed the details on’ (MSE Cheap Energy Club being one.)
 

Hey @woz @Gwyndy 

A bonus question from me :slight_smile:

Some energy suppliers don't ask people switching to them via a PCW to confirm the switch. Once they say ‘yes’ on the PCW, they’ve switched. Abd some, like us, do.
Which is better?
 

 

I like the idea of you having your ‘own confirmation’ which at least should reduce the number of people who complain they ‘didn’t mean to sign up’ - however, I don’t believe there’s necessarily a ‘right answer’ to this, whichever you do, someone won’t be happy.
 

 

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@Gwyndy Yes I agree and... the answer is to make both the steering to and the verify stage as robust bombproof and easy as possible, then there won’t be any issues…

Sadly that hasn’t been the case for everyone so far but it has improved. That is why I posted this idea in the first place.

A bonus question from me :slight_smile:

Some energy suppliers don't ask people switching to them via a PCW to confirm the switch. Once they say ‘yes’ on the PCW, they’ve switched. Abd some, like us, do.
Which is better?
 

I’m going against the tide and voting, do what I asked to be done. Send a confirmation email with an option to stop it if you didn’t request it.

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