2nd December 2019 by Catia Neves
Who is Utilita?
Established in 2003, Utilita is a gas and electricity supplier operating in the commercial and domestic markets in towns and communities throughout the UK.
Specialising in Smart Pay As You Go Energy, Utilita is the UK’s only energy company that was created to help households use and waste less energy, by giving customers better control via digital technology, including smart meters, In-home Display units and a Smartphone app.
Rated by Which? as a four-star supplier for customer service and ‘One to Watch’ on The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies To Work For 2020 list, Utilita has almost 800,000 customers and is the tenth-largest energy supplier in Britain.
Why partner with D&A?
Proportionately, Utilita serves a far higher percentage of Britain’s socially and financially challenged households than most other suppliers, if not all. This brings unique challenges, so it was a logical step to call on the expertise of D&A to ensure we are fully equipped to provide outstanding service to these customers.
What was the challenge?
“We had been taking wellbeing very seriously, but we thought we should be doing more,” says Andrea Stevens-Hunt, Head of Human Resources at Utilita. “So we decided to invite D&A in to help improve our knowledge on issues around (dis)abilities.”
What did we do?
- D&A was invited to share the Disability Inclusion training with a number of Utilita staff, mainly in the HR and manager/team leader areas. All participants that complete the training gain a D&A Disability Inclusion Champion pin badge.
- D&A was also invited to advise the contact centre for Utilita’s Extra Care Team, which supports the company’s disabled customers within more than 140,000 Priority Services Register customers. D&A reviewed live calls to see what kind of language was being used and have since put together a recommendation plan for staff to make improvements.
- Supporting the well-being team, who face incredibly challenging interactions on a daily basis, with the opportunity for regular well-being coaching and support from D&A.
We now have a two to three-year programme to support Utilita to become disability confident throughout the business. This includes:
- Roll out Disability Confident training with e-learning follow up to enhance the legacy, focusing on working with:
- Energy Hub teams on high streets up and down the country to give them the tools to ensure their work is inclusive.
- Face to Face agents that are the first point of call for the majority of customers up and down the country.
- Engineers that are welcomed into the homes of customers up and down the country.
- Communications team, who shape the way in which customers receive information and ultimately how welcome they feel.
- The entire workforce!
- Review and audit of communications materials and website accessibility
- Training in Assistive Technology and related strategies
- Support to achieve Disability Confident Leader Status
What were the benefits of D&A’s approach?
“D&A has gone down a storm with our staff, it’s been so enlightening,” adds Andrea. “We learnt a lot about barriers and that there aren’t any and that what can be seen as a disability, can be made into an ability. What surprised me is how many small things you can do to make improvements, such as changing the colour of paper or screens to make them more accessible.
“D&A are so engaging, and we feel really supported that if we ever have any issues, we know D&A will be able to help us. They don’t get caught up in jargon. They are so knowledgeable, they make it real and relatable.”