Improved productivity and customer service thanks to transformational coaching conversations

Improved productivity and customer service thanks to transformational coaching conversations

Despite being voted number 1 for overall customer satisfaction in the uSwitch Energy Awards in 2012 E.ON, one of the UK’s‘Big Six’ energy suppliers, didn’t want to get complacent. “We are driven to provide the best possible quality of service for our customers,” says David Bird, Customer Operations Director, E.ON UK.

E.ON appointed organisational talent development specialists TLC to design and deliver ‘Coaching for Performance’workshops to over 500 managers and team leaders in its Customer Operations division. TLC facilitators used TA (Transactional Analysis) to equip delegates with tools and techniques to have effective coaching conversations that led toimprovements in service quality for colleagues and customers.
Reaction to the learning was instant: “People left the workshop, tried something new and got a positive result straight away. The effect on performance was immediate” says David.
Nine months on from the workshop TLC evaluated its impact with an online survey and telephone interviews. Feedback from participants was extremely positive, including:
improved teamwork, improved relationships with direct reports and better management of underperforming staff.

  • 97% felt the workshop impacted positively theirability to challenge difficult behaviours
  • 95% reported improved customer service
  • 93% have improved the quality of coaching styleconversations
  • 93% reported improved job satisfaction
  • 92% reported improved efficiencies
  • 90% reported improved productivity
  • 92% felt the development was a worthwhileinvestment for E.ON.

“We called the programme ‘Poweringup your People’ and it did just that, equipping managers to have really effective coaching conversations that have led to improvements in service quality,” says David.

As one manager in Residential says, “The learning has influenced getting better service quality scores and higher NPS scores; my team is more efficient and the overall handling times of calls have reduced.” Another manager from Field Ops says “Prior to the workshop our phone stats showed we were abandoning over 20%of calls but we discussed itas a team, made some changes and since then the figure has dropped to less than 5%.”

Communications have improved too. “The workshop enabled me to resolve queries more quickly; I have improved how I communicate certain messages to customers” notes a manager in Credit. Likewise a manager in Prepayment says:
“I have always been extremely focused on performance and efficiencies. However, the workshop has enabled me to use this focus in the right way which allows my people to want to come with me.”
“This programme has had such a great impact in SME. Since the workshop began you can see, hear and feel a massive culture change. The way we hold our coaching conversations has been transformed. Managers are having more conversations with colleagues regarding their performance and are holding people to account who don’t step up to the mark” remarks a manager in SME. “Call quality has improved generally across the team but more specifically for a small number of people who were not achieving the benchmark... I’ve spent more time planning difficult conversations which has helped meto get the right impact when I speak to individuals” says another.

“TLC’s evaluation was impressive” says David. “They achieved a response rate of over 50% from the online survey and shared with us the impact to date as well as further steps we need to take to maintain momentum. Our line managers and team leaders have shown they can positively influence the attitude and performance of others and create a high performance culture. Since the workshop we have retained the uSwitch Energy Award for best overall customer satisfaction in2013and are confident that we have put ourselves in a strong position to further improve the service our customers receive.”

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