Customers at the forefront in a crisis, and beyond
An article by Duncan McCombie, Customer Engagement Group Chair.
Responding to the unfamiliar demonstrates the depth, flexibility and capability of a business. Responding to a crisis like COVID-19, also says a lot about the culture and resilience of that company. As Chair of the independent Customer Engagement Group at Western Power Distribution (WPD), I have had the opportunity to see how a critical link in getting electricity to homes and businesses across England and Wales has responded to our collective crisis.
Events and the unexpected caused by severe weather, such as storms and snow, are usual seasonal issues for the 6,500 staff at WPD, as they keep our lights on. A global pandemic with significant government interventions impacting every aspect of its daily operations, is another matter altogether.
Staff safety and well-being was the top priority. While homeworking was applied for all those who could from the start – with over 1,000 laptops built to facilitate homeworking in around ten days - the continuation of repairs and activity to keep essential services operating required key staff to continue to work on site, in offices, at their contact centre and in control rooms to ensure services meet customer needs and regulatory requirements.