Fresh Thinking Hub

Case study: A water retailer and consultant approach to delivering customer satisfaction

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Chris Quinn, Water Services Director, Kinect Energy Group

Image of Chris Quinn speaking at Kinect Energy
The Energy Live Consultancy Conference was an exciting event for us as we had the opportunity to share the stage with one of our partnership consultants Kinect Energy Group.

Chris Quinn, Water Services Director for Kinect Energy Group shared with a busy theatre insight into a customer project his firm is currently delivering with us, bringing to life the way water retailers, broker, consultants and TPIs can work together to deliver value in this tight margin market.

A little bit about Kinect Energy Group 

Kinect Energy Group are a global leading Energy and Risk Management consultancy. They purchased the business of Orchard Energy October 2017, which Chris explained was the company he worked for previously. 

The project

A multisite retailer, one of the top 10 retailers in the UK put pressure on their national appointed water retailer, Water Plus, to deliver a full forensic analysis of their historic water and wastewater charges for all their sites across the UK. Typically this wouldn’t be a project a water retailer would usually deliver, but Chris explained that the challenging conditions of the water market meant that it wasn’t unusual for customers to put retailers under pressure to deliver more value over and above the standard retailer services.

Water Plus agreed to deliver this project for their customer but knew that they would need external support to do so. After a careful diligence process, Water Plus appointed Kinect Energy Group to deliver the revenue recovery part of the customer project. 

Chris went on to say that he believed Kinect Energy Group were chosen for a number of reasons. Firstly, his teams experience within the water marker, they understand the processes, procedures and regulation of the industry and because of this are well placed to challenge the status quo of how a customer has been charged in the past. Chris’s team had also delivered many revenue recovery projects, just like this in the past and up to that point had generated £2 million worth of refunds for their customers. These factors gave Water Plus the confidence they needed to know that Chris’s team would be best fit to deliver for their customer.   

Why Water Plus

Having looked at why Water Plus had chosen his team he went on to review Kinect Energy Group process when agreeing to work with Water Plus.

Having previously carried out over 2500 of revenue recovery projects over a 4-5year period Chris explained that his company had never partnered up with a water retailer to deliver a project before. He explained that as a consultancy Kinect Energy Group wanted to retain their independency within the market – which meant they took careful consideration when deciding to partner up with Water Plus. Chris said that their reasons for partnering up was due to the fact they saw a lot of synergies with Water Plus:

Benefits of the partnership

For Chris, he said he saw the following as the main customer benefit of the retailer, consultant partnership his team had built with Water Plus:  

When it came to discussing the benefits for Kinect Energy Group, Chris could speak with certainty.

Their partnership with Water Plus had given them access to a type of customer that in the past they wouldn’t have been able to reach. Chris went on to say that the consultancy were excited to explore the opportunities and customers that working in partnership will bring them in the future.

Ease of project delivery was another area where Chris said he’d seen a positive impact from working alongside a retailer. If they were to deliver a project similar to the example given, a national organisation with sites across the UK independently, his team would have had to be in contact with anything up to 20 water suppliers in order to deliver the project. This would involve collecting invoices and data from each supplier, reviewing and raising claims / enquires with each independent retailer. Chris explained that the way they’ve agreed this project to work with Water Plus meant that they can drive all of these activities through one Water Plus channel with agreed Service Level Agreements and clear lines of communication. Helping the Chris and his team to deliver the project far more time efficiently for the customer. 

Chris’s final comment was that he believed that between water retailer and consultant, Water Plus and Kinect Energy Group had come up with a pioneering stance, which he is certain will be replicated between retailer and consultants in the future. But, Water Plus and Kinect Energy Group can always say they came up with this concept for customers. 

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