Reduce the 3 day Wattbot wait once a dialogue is established


For example: 

illustrates how frustrating this can be. Much frustration could be avoided if a customer reply didn’t fall right to the back of the queue each time.

Hopefully there’s a fair middle ground way to treat ongoing discussions...


63 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

@25 quid I agree, although most enquiries aren’t urgent unfortunately every customer believes their enquiry is urgent, that’s human nature and the amount of frustration generated by having to wait days between each reply is harmful. 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

I must admit that whenever I have had to use Wattbot, after the initial response, any subsequent replies are always the same day ( if posted  in the morning ) or the next day

That’s good to know @Duppy. Shame it didn’t work out like that for @Kt1992

Userlevel 2

@25 quid I agree, although most enquiries aren’t urgent unfortunately every customer believes their enquiry is urgent, that’s human nature and the amount of frustration generated by having to wait days between each reply is harmful. 

 

I’m not pretending my request is urgent, but 12 days on from asking about moving a meter I have only just established the cost and I’m currently on a four day wait for BACS details to pay. This could have been done in 12 minutes on the phone!
 

 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

wattBots never taken longer than 2 days during business hours in my experience and often sooner.

I knew PP did not have a call centre before I joined..said that on the tin... and I understood that was the deal.

Yep, not for all, has its challenges and frustrations.

Call centres are costly, once you give peeps the opportunity they will call even when theres easy clear answers via FaQ’s and of course PP’s community they set up all transparently.

Use wattBot, prefix with “Message the Team” for non emergency stuff and use the emergency form when its an emergency.  Don’t like digital then head off to an energy company with a call centre, some call centres are really bad and some are good. Do a little research though..call up before joining...I tested the community before joining, took on board the concept and new I had to be patient when I’m usually not.

I’m all relaxed now.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

@25 quid I agree, although most enquiries aren’t urgent unfortunately every customer believes their enquiry is urgent, that’s human nature and the amount of frustration generated by having to wait days between each reply is harmful. 

 

I’m not pretending my request is urgent, but 12 days on from asking about moving a meter I have only just established the cost and I’m currently on a four day wait for BACS details to pay. This could have been done in 12 minutes on the phone!
 

 

 

Like Strutty, I was very aware of no call centre when joined - and tbh that was a massive plus, the all digital approach was quite new then, and the thought of no more hanging on a line awaiting answers, was truly appealing. It’s worked / working extremely well for me. 

All that said, I soooooooooo empathised immediately with your post, @Kt1992 , I absolutely did. Immediately voted on @25 quid idea. I can fully feel your frustrations, and know you’re not just throwing your toys out the pram. Your points are very valid, and eloquently put. I think your post has potential to act as a catalyst for this idea 👍

The one and only time I contacted member services.
The message was sent @ 13:27
First Response from Ian @ 14:56
I told them more about my query @ 15:18 and 15:19
Second Response from Ian was @ 15:21
I thanked him for answering my query @ 15:22
I told me he would close the chat as I was satisfied @ 15:23

I can only presume that either:
A: I was exceedingly lucky

or 

B: Pure Planet’s Member Services team have not kept up with increasing customer numbers/has been negatively affected by Covid.

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

I think it could be B @Gwyndy , they did increase the initial wait from two to three working days some time ago.

Userlevel 2

wattBots never taken longer than 2 days during business hours in my experience and often sooner.

I knew PP did not have a call centre before I joined..said that on the tin... and I understood that was the deal.

Yep, not for all, has its challenges and frustrations.

Call centres are costly, once you give peeps the opportunity they will call even when theres easy clear answers via FaQ’s and of course PP’s community they set up all transparently.

Use wattBot, prefix with “Message the Team” for non emergency stuff and use the emergency form when its an emergency.  Don’t like digital then head off to an energy company with a call centre, some call centres are really bad and some are good. Do a little research though..call up before joining...I tested the community before joining, took on board the concept and new I had to be patient when I’m usually not.

I’m all relaxed now.

 

I didn’t know when I joined that I would need to move a meter! And my point stands that a single, simple request that can be resolved in a few messages - fine I’ll wait a few days. But for complex questions, they need a different strategy. 

 

At this rate, I would have been able to switch supplier and get a new meter before my conversation with PP is concluded.

 

I didn’t know when I joined that I would need to move a meter! And my point stands that a single, simple request that can be resolved in a few messages - fine I’ll wait a few days. But for complex questions, they need a different strategy. 

 

At this rate, I would have been able to switch supplier and get a new meter before my conversation with PP is concluded.

I agree this is a very strange situation, which really needs to be looked into - I for one would have hoped, that as with my chat, you would have received a resolution within a day or two of Pure Planet’s initial response. I can understand that in your situation, Pure Planet may have need external help, however, you’d hope they could have at least at some point turned around and said:

‘Send us this, this, and this, we’ll pass it to Magnum Utilities (or other external agent) and be back with an answer as soon as possible.’

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

But for complex questions, they need a different strategy. 

 

 

Yep your right! @Kt1992 

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

As a company grows the ability to deal with customer queries should grow with it, but inevitably it never does and it can’t ever be perfectly tailored to the peaks and troughs of customer demand anyway (because life isn’t a nice smooth ride).

Also customers are an unreasonable bunch and expect instant answers (that was tongue in cheek by the way).
 I’ve watched other energy companies implode (and some fail) because they didn’t get their customer service correct. 

Why am I saying this?  One of the issues which has reared it’s ugly head many times  (not just with energy companies I might add) is staff being under enormous pressure and unable to give each (urgent and important to the customer) query the time it needs, so what happens in practice, and it’s just happened to me from another energy co. I deal with for a neighbour, - twice, (arghhhh), is that you send a query in,  and get a response which doesn’t answer the questions you’ve asked, because that query can be deflected or put to bed in 10 seconds rather than a staff member giving it several minutes required for a proper considered reply which fully deals with the issue(s).
It’s extremely annoying and frustrating when this happens I’m sure most of the people reading this will have experienced this from various companies. You then have to either send a direct response back saying you didn’t answer my questions, or simply give up in frustration. (I suspect there are a few companies who secretly hope they can encourage you to give up, PP isn’t one of them)

From the perspective of most energy companies 99% (that’s a wild guess) of the queries aren’t urgent and there is no downside to the customer if it takes a week or two (or months in some cases) to resolve, but there is a reputational downside because failure to timeously address issues (any issues no matter how trivial) cause damage even if the issues raised are not directly controllable by the company. That’s just a fact of life and customer service.

The corollary of this is a company employing more staff to deal with the ever increasing queries as they grow, but we all know it’s a balancing act between average demand/staff costs/costs to the consumer etc. etc.

The company I recently dealt with emailed an acknowledgment by return telling me they had my query (good but automatic - no effort required) , 4 days later I received what looked like a canned response which didn’t answer any of the 3 direct questions I asked, all of which required specific answers which couldn’t be found in their faq or online. Needless to say I mailed back and subsequently received an apology and answers. So all good then?
Well..that process took 9 days. It left a negative impression of the company, that if my query had been “urgent” (“urgent” for example: co-ordinating meter replacement or refunding because I had  urgent money issues or a failed or uncertain  switch because of an I.T glitch) could I trust them to respond? 

Anything other than disconnection or loss of supply isn't an emergency, that’s true, but customers think otherwise and so it will always be.

I’m not suggesting for a moment that PP are guilty of this, in fact far from it, but neither do I believe they have the balance quite right because there is an extra barrier in the way (wattbot). Wattbot isn’t supposed to ever be a barrier, it was designed to be a conduit to customer services. A “chat” where there are days between several replies, is an epic fail. Everything should be geared to keep that scenario to a minimum. (late edit reply just seen in another thread “Thanks for this - I'll do that. Never knew how to get past Wattbot.”)

But..let’s face it, even before you get to the “chat” what percentage of people when faced with a  “Hello I’m Wozbot your digital assistant, (may the lord have mercy upon you) please type your query in below” actually believe that they will get a reply which fully answers their question?  

In defence of PP  (not that it is a defence) other companies do take far far longer to respond than PP do, but that isn’t the only metric by which customers judge a company. 

That said as others have said and I agree,  responses to wattbot queries are usually pretty fast (and I believe PP don’t unduly pressure their staff)

But, personally I’d rather wait a little longer if necessary and get a considered response which deals with everything I need than a strung out chain of frustrated communications which only half answers what I need. 

rant over - not sure if I’ve added anything to this thread...

 

 

 

 

All true, however, I think a 10 second PP reply shouldn’t send the inevitable follow-up response back to Go. Even Old Kent Road would be a reputation maintaining compromise.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

As a company grows the ability to deal with customer queries should grow with it, but inevitably it never does and it can’t ever be perfectly tailored to the peaks and troughs of customer demand anyway (because life isn’t a nice smooth ride).

Also customers are an unreasonable bunch and expect instant answers (that was tongue in cheek by the way).
 I’ve watched other energy companies implode (and some fail) because they didn’t get their customer service correct. 

Why am I saying this?  One of the issues which has reared it’s ugly head many times  (not just with energy companies I might add) is staff being under enormous pressure and unable to give each (urgent and important to the customer) query the time it needs, so what happens in practice, and it’s just happened to me from another energy co. I deal with for a neighbour, - twice, (arghhhh), is that you send a query in,  and get a response which doesn’t answer the questions you’ve asked, because that query can be deflected or put to bed in 10 seconds rather than a staff member giving it several minutes required for a proper considered reply which fully deals with the issue(s).
It’s extremely annoying and frustrating when this happens I’m sure most of the people reading this will have experienced this from various companies. You then have to either send a direct response back saying you didn’t answer my questions, or simply give up in frustration. (I suspect there are a few companies who secretly hope they can encourage you to give up, PP isn’t one of them)

From the perspective of most energy companies 99% (that’s a wild guess) of the queries aren’t urgent and there is no downside to the customer if it takes a week or two (or months in some cases) to resolve, but there is a reputational downside because failure to timeously address issues (any issues no matter how trivial) cause damage even if the issues raised are not directly controllable by the company. That’s just a fact of life and customer service.

The corollary of this is a company employing more staff to deal with the ever increasing queries as they grow, but we all know it’s a balancing act between average demand/staff costs/costs to the consumer etc. etc.

The company I recently dealt with emailed an acknowledgment by return telling me they had my query (good but automatic - no effort required) , 4 days later I received what looked like a canned response which didn’t answer any of the 3 direct questions I asked, all of which required specific answers which couldn’t be found in their faq or online. Needless to say I mailed back and subsequently received an apology and answers. So all good then?
Well..that process took 9 days. It left a negative impression of the company, that if my query had been “urgent” (“urgent” for example: co-ordinating meter replacement or refunding because I had  urgent money issues or a failed or uncertain  switch because of an I.T glitch) could I trust them to respond? 

Anything other than disconnection or loss of supply isn't an emergency, that’s true, but customers think otherwise and so it will always be.

I’m not suggesting for a moment that PP are guilty of this, in fact far from it, but neither do I believe they have the balance quite right because there is an extra barrier in the way (wattbot). Wattbot isn’t supposed to ever be a barrier, it was designed to be a conduit to customer services. A “chat” where there are days between several replies, is an epic fail. Everything should be geared to keep that scenario to a minimum. (late edit reply just seen in another thread “Thanks for this - I'll do that. Never knew how to get past Wattbot.”)

But..let’s face it, even before you get to the “chat” what percentage of people when faced with a  “Hello I’m Wozbot your digital assistant, (may the lord have mercy upon you) please type your query in below” actually believe that they will get a reply which fully answers their question?  

In defence of PP  (not that it is a defence) other companies do take far far longer to respond than PP do, but that isn’t the only metric by which customers judge a company. 

That said as others have said and I agree,  responses to wattbot queries are usually pretty fast (and I believe PP don’t unduly pressure their staff)

But, personally I’d rather wait a little longer if necessary and get a considered response which deals with everything I need than a strung out chain of frustrated communications which only half answers what I need. 

rant over - not sure if I’ve added anything to this thread...

 

 

 

 

Not a rant @woz just the way of things...

@woz, you have won second prize in a beauty contest, collect $10! 😉 

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

@woz, you have won second prize in a beauty contest, collect $10! 😉 

@25 quid and I was the only contestant!

Quite an accolade!

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

@woz, you have won second prize in a beauty contest, collect $10! 😉 

@25 quid and I was the only contestant!

Congrats, cake, candle, presentation, speech, claps and slaps on the back...3 cheers and the old hip hip hooray

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

@Strutt G and @25 quid 

I’m just working on my acceptance speech….

I’d like to thank everyone concerned. I’d like to but I won’t.

To think overnight I’ve been launched from being completely unknown to a position of complete obscurity. I’m all choked up.

P.S. does anyone think this thread is wandering off course?

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

@Strutt G and @25 quid 

I’m just working on my acceptance speech….

I’d like to thank everyone concerned. I’d like to but I won’t.

To think overnight I’ve been launched from being completely unknown to a position of complete obscurity. I’m all choked up.

P.S. does anyone think this thread is wandering off course?

Um, I’ll need to consult with Obi Wan Kenobi once one and all have stopped singing he’s a …..j g f etc etc

Bet your glad its not Friday.

Userlevel 2

Day 15 in the big meter move household….and still no BACS details or answer to my last question. 

 

But I suppose I am being entertained in the meantime!  

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Fair comments @Kt1992 and sorry not intending to wind you up and hope you get sorted soon.

Really interested to see how you got on, as in when and how it was resolved?

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

Day 15 in the big meter move household….and still no BACS details or answer to my last question. 

 

But I suppose I am being entertained in the meantime!  

 

“Day 15…...Big Meter Household” 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣👍👍👍👏👏👏👏

I think you’re as equally entertaining as you are being entertained, K 👍

Interesting discussion going on here guys.

Really useful feedback.

One thing I was going to mention, although I think it’s already been covered by other replies, is that we do give the three-working day reply to first messages to set expectations. But of course once a member of the team gets the message, the next steps are completely dependent on the question.

If the question is simple the reply is received and, usually, that’s that. But if the question means other ‘agencies’ have to get involved, it’s not easy to give another ETA because we’re dependent on others.

For example, if there’s an opening reading dispute, it could take months and months to resolve and we’re at the ‘mercy’ of other suppliers. Likewise questions about when SMETS1 smart meters are going to go smart, we’re at the mercy of the DCC.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Interesting discussion going on here guys.

Really useful feedback.

One thing I was going to mention, although I think it’s already been covered by other replies, is that we do give the three-working day reply to first messages to set expectations. But of course once a member of the team gets the message, the next steps are completely dependent on the question.

If the question is simple the reply is received and, usually, that’s that. But if the question means other ‘agencies’ have to get involved, it’s not easy to give another ETA because we’re dependent on others.

For example, if there’s an opening reading dispute, it could take months and months to resolve and we’re at the ‘mercy’ of other suppliers. Likewise questions about when SMETS1 smart meters are going to go smart, we’re at the mercy of the DCC.

 

Cheers Marc and sorry for overly going off the thread.

Perhaps sometimes the balance between entertainment and assistance can be self indulgent.

Hands held high!

 

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