Proud to lead the way in the energy industry

At SSE we put customers at the heart of everything we do. We power around five million homes and businesses in the UK and we want all our customers to be happy with the service we provide. However, sometimes things can go wrong and when they do we want to put them right quickly. 

We view one complaint as one too many, so we work very hard to resolve our customers’ problems and as a result we consistently have, proportionately, the lowest number of Ombudsman complaints in the industry.

But we want to do more. In a first for the energy industry, SSE will inform customers of their right to contact the Ombudsman for resolution of their complaint even earlier in the process as part of its efforts to raise the bar on complaint handling.

However, we don’t want any customer being unhappy with the service we provide. We pride ourselves on our customer service - so much so that we were the first major energy supplier to implement a customer service money-back guarantee to give our customers peace of mind that if our standards were not met, they would receive £20. We also set out our high standards of service in our Customer Charter to clearly state our commitment to customers.

However, we know that there may be occasions when a customer is not entirely happy with the service we have provided, and when this happens, we’re disappointed and want to get their complaint resolved as quickly as possible.

Resolving at the first point of contact
We empower every single one of our 4,000 UK based customer service employees to put things right at the very first point of contact. We want all complaints to be resolved on the spot. If this is not possible, we aim to resolve it by the end of the next working day. Our latest figures show we’ve been resolving 85 percent, up from 80 per cent, of complaints by the end of the next working day.

Our customer service team also log every single expression of dissatisfaction, no matter how small. This helps us capture problems at the earliest stage, help us resolve it as quickly as possible and constantly improve our service. It also reduces the need for customers to go elsewhere such as the Ombudsman to get their problem resolved.

A straight-forward 3-step complaint procedure
We have a simple 3-step complaint procedure which outlines clearly how to go about making a complaint to us, the process and commitments we make to helping resolve it. It also outlines our contact details for both phone and email, including an email for SSE’s Head of Customer Service. You can take a look at this here.

Listening to our customers
Above everything else, it’s essential we listen to our customers to ensure we can pick up on any issues early on and deliver the service they deserve. We do this through our customer service staff who talk to customers day in, day out. We’re also in the fourth year of our Customer Forums, providing another outlet for customers to have a say on the improvements we can make. And last year, SSE published its second Treating Customers Fairly statement, an important document that sets out the ways we meet Ofgem’s Standards of Conduct. It includes an email for customers to contact me about ways we can improve our service.

Although SSE is proportionately the best performing of energy suppliers, we want to get better.

About the author

Tony Keeling Director of Customer Service

Tony Keeling is Director of Customer Service at SSE and has been with the company since 2000. He is responsible for all aspects of the customer service experience, including setting the customer service vision and strategy.

Read more articles by Tony Keeling