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E.ON Next reveals how to create a customer-first culture

Set up in the midst of the pandemic, E.ON Next is a new energy supplier focused on renewable energy. In a podcast for Engage Customer, CEO of Soul Corporations and Guest Editor at EBM Nicholas Brice spoke to E.ON Next’s Head of Digital Customer Experience Abdul Khaled. Together, the two discussed what it means to be a customer-centric organisation and how companies can provide value to their customers.

Recent crises have put energy at the forefront of people’s minds

Discussing E.ON Next, Abdul noted that the energy supplier previously occupied a space which attracted relatively low interest. Now, however, this has drastically changed due to the recent crises which have put energy at the forefront of people’s minds. As a customer-centric organisation, E.ON Next is now focusing on providing customer value and helping clients use their energy more efficiently.

In the podcast, Abdul stressed the importance of leadership and the direction that they set. Expanding on this, he shared that the leaders who wish to place customers at the heart of their operations should ask themselves whether their targets are customer centric. Going further, Abdul urged leaders to develop long term strategies:

“Are you prioritising customer feedback, customer sentiment and customer ratings over and above profit sales with the belief that if you stay the course, providing customer value and making sure that customer satisfaction is at the top of your priority list, profit, sales and revenue would naturally transpire?”

Defining values and principles

To ensure that their customer-centric strategy is successful, leaders must also define clear values and principles. Revealing the values that drive a customer-first culture in E.ON Next, Abdul pointed to speed and urgency. More specifically, he discussed the current living conditions in the UK, highlighting people’s fear of poverty, their struggle to keep warm, and the potential illnesses they face.

“If I had people in my organisation who are not able to prioritise that customer and are too worried about their process or perfecting their work, that’s not a right culture fit because for us right now, it’s about how can we reduce the cost that customers are paying for their bills, […] how can we help them, how can we give them advice, tips, techniques, solutions to stay warm throughout this winter. That means that when we see a problem, we need to deal with it with urgency and speed.”

Besides discussing these issues, Abdul spoke about customer centricity more broadly; that is, he shared the success stories of other companies, including Amazon, Apple, and Michelin. Moreover, he gave businesses advice on how to become more customer centric.

The main tips he offered were to think outside the box, create a unique value proposition, have the right culture, invest in the right tools, and take action once you have insight into your customers’ needs.

Abdul Khaled

Abdul Khaled

E.ON Head of Digital Customer Experience
Abdul leads the digital and customer experience function at E.ON’s new challenger brand in the UK – E.ON Next. With extensive digital experience, Abdul has been involved in leading digital strategy, transformation and growth at global brands, most recently with Cisco and Subway, as well as driving innovation at several start-ups both nationally and internationally. At E.ON Next Abdul is currently building a new digital-first product and CX team tasked with disrupting and revolutionising the energy space. His focus is on high performance, innovative ways of working and culture building. He regularly shares his expertise through webinars, conferences and thought leadership pieces as well as coaching upcoming digital leaders.

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