Why it matters
In 2018, there was an estimated 1.6 million people who were struggling to pay fuel bills, people in dire need of professional energy saving advice. Good energy advice can come in a variety of forms, but the best advice goes the extra mile. A well trained energy advisor should be able to give expert information on energy efficiency, suitable energy efficient equipment or household adaptations, energy finance issues and engaging with the energy market in addition to other advice or support.
For any business working in the energy sector or even with energy efficient products, the best way to support customers (and add value to the service) is to help them save energy through expert and bespoke advice. Our own research in this area supports the notion that customers both want and need companies to be proactive in supporting them to save energy. But what advice given to customers is actually effective?
A quick search online reveals a plethora of tips and tricks that could save ‘some’ energy, but a lot of this is just unqualified assumptions with no verification and isn’t bespoke to customer needs. Good energy advice training goes beyond a few references to turning off lights when you leave a room. It needs to take into account the energy characteristics of the household, energy supplier, efficiency of products and average consumption of energy.
Customers given poor energy advice are more likely to slip into fuel poverty and in addition, are not afraid of showing their dissatisfaction through their wallets. Over 60% of people reported that they had stopped buying from a company or stopped using a service because they found a competitor providing a better experience. Nothing puts off a customer more than factual errors and disingenuous claims when it comes to saving energy and energy advice is the largest place this can happen.
What are the benefits?
Improving your advice service will improve customer satisfaction, confidence in your brand and help build long-term positive relationships. To further assure customers about the quality of your service, you can make use of training certificates or the EST Endorsed Advice brandmark in your marketing to demonstrate that your advice service has been endorsed by a trusted and independent organisation.
How Energy Saving Trust can help
Energy Saving Trust has been providing energy advice workshops for a range of clients for many years. The contents and expertise of which have been carefully culminated from over 25 years’ experience of talking to energy consumers, inspiring behavioural change and in-depth research into domestic energy. Our training is delivered through online workshops or at your workplace for convenience.
There are two parts to our training workshops that look at varied areas of consumer energy advice needs.
- The first part equips staff with knowledge about domestic energy use in homes (or small businesses) as they learn about the importance of low cost and no cost measures that can save energy and reduce carbon emissions. This part of the advice training can also include information about domestic renewable energy technology, backed up by accurate cost savings and figures.
- The second part of the training teaches how to effectively communicate this information, focusing on questioning skills, structure and prioritisation of different advice. This is delivered through a varied range of case studies, enabling the staff to practice and critique effective communication of advice.
You’ll also have access to the latest energy savings information and support materials to ensure your energy advice is always current.
Energy advice and the training of people to provide it are an important aspect of modern society. Using energy is a fundamental part of everybody’s life – we all need electricity, yet issues such as fuel poverty and bad customer service cause many consumers to dread their fuel bills. Energy advisors and customer service representatives are only as helpful as their knowledge, so you should ensure your team is empowered with professional training.
You can find out how our training solutions can help you upskill your advisors and frontline staff to provide high quality energy efficiency advice to your customers.
If you would like to find out more about our Energy Advice Training service and how it could support your business, contact our Business Development Team: firstname.lastname@example.org