Power NI, Northern Ireland’s leading electricity supplier has become the first energy provider in Northern Ireland and one of only nine companies across the globe to successfully achieve Inclusive Service Provision Kitemark ISO 22485.
The certification was awarded to Power NI by BSI following a rigorous audit, and demonstrates that Power NI provides a flexible and inclusive service, ensuring the correct level of support is available for all customers.
ISO 22485 ensures the adoption of fair and inclusive practices, helping organisations to understand ‘best practice’ for vulnerable customers and in turn, giving customers more confidence in the services they are using. It provides a framework to help organisations and their employees understand the underlying factors associated with vulnerable circumstances and works to develop processes to support their needs.
Gwyneth Compston, Power NI CSR Manager commented, “We understand that vulnerable circumstances can affect anyone at any time and that all our customers have different needs, personal characteristics, and health. The ISO 22485 Kitemark gives our customers confidence that we will take time to talk to them, look after them and ultimately treat them fairly. Vulnerability can be transient, but our aim is to be as accessible as possible for all our customers. Our staff have worked extremely hard to achieve this Kitemark and it is something that we will continue to invest in for years to come.”
The certification involves an in-depth review of all parts of the business, from the customer communications that are issued and design of products and services to an assessment of Power NI staff, who have been trained in how to have individual conversations with customers who may have various needs and require additional support.
Gwyneth continued, “For many vulnerable people, calling up to speak with a customer services representative can be stressful, so I’m proud to say that our teams have worked hard to expand their knowledge and to adapt their communication style.
As a company we have continued to build on the success of this Kitemark with other initiatives like the text-to-speech functionality available on our website, the Relay UK service for customers who are hard of hearing, the introduction of British Sign Language (BSL) to our customer help videos, working to become Dementia Friendly and further development of our long-standing partnership with the NOW Group.”
Natasha Bambridge, Global Consumer Promise Practice Director at BSI said “Amid the cost of energy crisis, protecting vulnerable consumers has never been so important to purpose-driven organisations. The Inclusive Service Kitemark demonstrates Power NI’s ongoing commitment to offering an inclusive service for all at this critical time.
“In achieving certification, Power NI have demonstrated they understand the impact of consumer vulnerability and provide an inclusive and flexible approach to address it. Therefore, they are better able to meet a diverse range of consumer needs, making it easier for their customers to access information, services and products, make good decisions and achieve positive outcomes.”
As a result of the ongoing pressures cost of living pressures faced by customers; customer circumstances are becoming more complex and it’s more important than ever to everyone at Power NI that services are fair and accessible to all.