Liberty has trialled a successful new approach to customer engagement across Sheffield, slashing the number of missed gas appointments due to customers not being home by almost 51%.

Liberty’s gas engineers had reported difficulties gaining access to some people’s homes for annual gas safety checks, as people were not always at home when they call.

Although advance letters and text reminders are sent to customers, some forget the appointment or have other priorities on the day.

Kevin Cossey, Operations Director at Liberty Group decided to pilot a more personal approach with customers in the region to try and solve the issue and improve efficiency.

Kevin introduced a system where each customer was personally telephoned the evening before their appointment to check if they were aware of the appointment and still available. Local call handlers, who often knew the customers, made the calls and could reschedule the appointment if necessary.

This one-to-one contact with customers had amazing results.

In September 2017, 1,620 properties couldn’t be accessed (28%) while in October this fell to only 658 properties that couldn’t be accessed (11%). Over the three month pilot there was a dramatic 49% increase in property access rates on the first call. Even more importantly, this helps Liberty ensure that customers are getting their gas safety checks undertaken within the time needed to achieve 100% legislative compliance.

A positive side effect of customers rescheduling appointments they can no longer make is that Liberty has freed up availability the next day which can be used for emergency appointments.

Kevin Cossey, Operations Director at Liberty Group

This project has had huge benefits for our customers, our engineers and the Liberty Group itself. Our customers have benefited from having their gas safety checks carried out in a timeframe to meet legislative compliance. Our gas engineers have benefited from more job satisfaction, as they hate to leave a property without carrying out the necessary safety checks and the Liberty Group do not have to undertake so many duplicate house calls. It all goes to show that simple solutions are often the best.

49%
increase in first time access rates
100%
gas check compliance achieved

Challenges

  • Difficulties gaining access to people’s homes for annual gas safety checks
  • High levels of missed appointments
  • Advance letters and text reminders not having significant impact

Solutions

  • New system providing one-to-one contact with customers developed
  • Customer personally telephoned the evening before their appointment to check availability

Results and Benefits

  • Missed appointments fell by more than 51% compared to last year
  • 49% increase in property access rates
  • 100% gas check compliance achieved within the legislative framework

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