How to support a growing customer base

7th Dec 2015

Since becoming the first British company to supply eco-friendly gas five years ago, Ecotricity is now one of the fastest growing independent energy suppliers in the UK.

“It’s my belief that the UK can be totally powered by wind, sun and wave – in that order of abundance – and it’s a message that seems to be resonating,” explains founder and CEO Dale Vince, when asked about the organisation’s rapid expansion. 

But how has a company that started out as a single wind turbine powering an old army truck adapted to meet this growing demand? Vince shares the methodology that worked for his business: 

Retain your start-up mentality

There’s a tendency for larger companies to lose the level of accessibility associated with start-ups, but Vince says customers respond well to people, not corporate jargon. When things do go wrong, Ecotricity has a team solely focused on fixing issues fast, and systems in place to push feedback directly on to Vince. He often takes customers’ calls and will personally try to resolve any concerns they might have. “Our message is: just call us, we don’t mind,” he says. 

Stay true to your roots

While some companies drift into the mainstream in a bid to please a wider customer base, Ecotricity has always worked hard to maintain its unique selling point. “The whole company was set up to be different,” says Vince. “You can’t change the status quo when you’re a part of it.” A key point of difference is the company’s approach to communicating with customers. “We will talk about our values when people call us,” Vince explains.

Invest in staff

As customer numbers have grown, Vince has had to increase the number of Ecotricity’s service staff to sustain high levels of customer satisfaction. The company doubled its staff between the summers of 2014 and 2015, and continues to hire to meet demand. 

Read the full interview with Dale Vince, published in the June 2015 issue of Customer Focus magazine.

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