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Leading market research agency reappointed for UK’s six distribution networks operators

Leading market research agency reappointed for UK’s six distribution networks operators

Leading customer insight agency, Explain Market Research, has been awarded a three-year contract with the UK’s six Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), to conduct customer satisfaction research for the utilities industry.

Newcastle-based Explain Market Research, which has successfully delivered the project since 2015, has been awarded the contract for the second time following a robust tendering process.

As part of the licence agreement with gas and electricity regulator Ofgem, the network operators (Electricity North West, Northern Powergrid, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, SP Energy Networks, UK Power Networks and Western Power Distribution) are responsible for delivering electricity to the doors of millions of UK homes and businesses, and are required to participate in the Broad Measure Customer Satisfaction (BMCS) research programme to track satisfaction scores from their customers.

Explain conducts the BMCS research on an ongoing basis, completing approximately 1,500 telephone surveys per week, with strict quotas to ensure correct representation from customers who have received a service or interacted with their local network operator within the last 10 days. Feedback from customers is carefully collected and summarised into weekly dashboard reports which outline all key findings and include comprehensive analysis. This provides deeper insight into specific areas where trends exist which can inform and help drive improvements to further enhance customers’ experience in the future, and allows the DNO to learn from feedback.

The research must be carried out to an extremely high standard as it is part of a regulatory incentive which aims to drive up standards for customers, demonstrate how all six DNOs are performing against their peers, and inform performance rewards or penalties issued by Ofgem.

Kim Davis, managing director at Explain said: “Our quality processes and expert team has ensured that the BMCS project has been a success since the contract was first awarded to Explain in 2015 and we’re committed to delivering excellent value for all stakeholders involved in the years ahead.

“Being reappointed with a three-year contract recognises our expertise and achievements to date.  It also means we can keep doing what we do best; focus on quality, client dedication and high standards.

“We have our own in-house research centre and a team of 45 dedicated telephone researchers who are all Market Research Society trained, and we tightly manage the quality of the data we collect to ensure complete accuracy. 

“Explain has worked within the utilities sector for over two decades, in contracted partnerships with several of the UK’s biggest and most respected suppliers and distributors. These relationships have allowed us to develop in-depth understanding of a range of topics specific to the sector which truly sets us apart as an agency.”