UK distribution network operators

Find out how we deliver to an extremely high standard, a complex and large customer research project as part of a regulatory requirement by OFGEM, for the UKs six DNO's ...

As part of the licence agreement with the gas and electricity regulator OFGEM, the UK’s six Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) who are responsible for delivering electricity to the doors of millions of UK homes and businesses, are required to participate in a research program known as “Broad Measure”, to track satisfaction scores from their customers.

It was necessary for the DNOs to select one research company to deliver this work so that there was a consistent approach across the board, as the results are then used by OFGEM to instruct financial rewards or penalties dependent on performance against set benchmarks.

The need

An ongoing program of feedback was required to measure customer satisfaction after a range of experiences, including unplanned and planned power interruptions, connections and general enquiries.

The six DNOs went out to tender to find a research agency that could deliver this large and complex project across a three-year contract.

It was imperative that the agency selected demonstrated great knowledge and expertise on customer tracking, had an in depth understanding of the energy sector and a track record for delivering high quality research service to their clients.

The outcome

We successfully won the contract to complete 1,500 telephone surveys per week with strict quotas to ensure correct representation from customers who’d had an experience within the last 10 days.Our strong team of 50 trained quantitative interviewers successfully complete the 1,500 weekly telephone surveys, with our experienced team of analysts generating a weekly dashboard report for the DNOs.

A more detailed monthly report is supplied with a comprehensive analysis to provide deeper insight into  specific areas – particularly areas where there appears to be a trend, allowing for  operational improvements to enhance the customer’s experience.

All six DNOs benefit from a league table displaying how well they are doing against their peers, allowing OFGEM to see instantly the best and worst performers at year end.

Our quality processes and expert team has ensured that “Broad Measure” has been a success from development to roll out and continues to deliver excellent value for all stakeholders involved.

"We have been extremely impressed with Explain’s knowledge and expertise within the energy sector and how quickly they were able to implement a detailed programme of customer research to meet the needs of all DNOs and OFGEM

They have demonstrated professionalism and high quality customer service throughout a complex contract. Reports are delivered on time every week/month and withstand rigorous quality checks.

The team are excellent to work with, highly knowledgeable and clearly dedicated.  We look forward to continuing to work with them.”

Richard Westwood, ESC Performance Manager, Scottish and Southern Energy

“Northern Powergrid (NPg) have had a long standing relationship with Explain based on trust and mutual respect.  We have always found Explain very easy to do business with, it is important for them to really understand your business, your goals, the direction you are going and keen to support that with robust customer feedback research which provides insight into what customer feedback is but also trends and themes to help you as a business ensure your business plan aligns with customer feedback and improvements needed.

Because NPg have had this trusted relationship we fully supported Explain submitting interest in the OFGEM broad measure of customer satisfaction surveys which was up for tender to commence April 2015.  Explain were head and shoulders ahead of the competition due to their internal quality processes, their ability to deploy the contact timely but in a thorough way and have worked with all DNOs to ensure within 6 weeks the contract was fully set up and operational in line with strict regulation guidelines.

Explain are a professional organisation, specialise in their field, are easy to do business with and provide robust quality insight into customer satisfaction of which can be trusted due to sound internal quality standards. 

In closing I would highly recommend Explain  and personally look forward to continuing the effective working relationship we have established with them”

Kelly Graham Head of Customer Service Northern Powergrid

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Sage Bellway

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