5 Mins With ... Grace Rothery, UK Managing Director at ENSEK
Grace Rothery is UK Managing Director at ENSEK, which designs and develops software that enables energy retailers to manage their energy consumers. ENSEK’s Ignition platform is a SaaS tool that provides energy suppliers with the tech to manage energy consumers - from quote to sign up, billing, collection and service, all in real-time.
Tell us about your experience
I’ve been working in the gas, electricity, and green energy space for 10 years. I started my career in energy in 2011 within the legal team of the largest B2B gas supplier in the UK, Gazprom Energy. Eventually I moved away from that role to focus on the retail side of the business. I needed a new challenge, so I followed my passion for customer service excellence without leaving the energy field.
Prior to joining ENSEK, I held the role of Head of UK Retail at Gazprom Energy. I led the company to retain its market-leading position, spearheaded the customer excellence function, and was responsible for its high-quality end-to-end customer journey.
With experience working supplier-side, I know exactly what challenges ENSEK’s customers face, as the energy landscape rapidly evolves. In my current role, I maintain strong relationships with new and existing UK customers, supporting their needs through digital transformation journeys and the energy transition.
How would you assess changes in the energy sector?
The energy market is fundamentally shifting. Over time we’ll see more suppliers shift from standard supply and demand of commodities to an open energy-as-a-service model. With the global drive to net zero and the increased adoption of non-commodities by end-users, energy suppliers will need to remain relevant to consumers and adapt quickly. This means building foundations on an agile and open platform that enables high connectivity to answer consumer needs ENSEK is well positioned to transform, innovate and accelerate suppliers, as the energy transition progresses.
What has been the customer experience within the energy market?
Customer experience is often described as the biggest differentiator for businesses. While in the past, brands competed with their offerings, now it's about providing a seamless service, how they make customers feel, and whether they can build long-term trust.
Businesses no longer compete only in their vertical sectors, as customers compare their experiences across different areas. For instance, a customer switching their energy supplier might compare their experience in doing so against their experience in a completely unrelated sector, whether that is buying something online or booking a table at a restaurant. All the interactions that a customer has with a brand, whatever the brand may be, matter.
Energy customers increasingly expect every touchpoint to be highly personalised; having data-led insights can help brands achieve this. While automation removes manual tasks from business’ operations, it can also deliver a high-quality service to customers and boost satisfaction through seamless and real-time engagements.
Data can also help determine individual patterns and help companies predict customer behaviour. This allows businesses to anticipate what consumers might need, rather than always look in hindsight.
It is key to engage customers across multiple channels, to enable consumers’ comfort when talking to providers – whether it’s by live chat, mail, app, phone or in person. Different consumer groups have various needs and companies can cater to that through a balanced omnichannel approach. The challenge is to make sure all those channels of communication are joined up and give the equivalent experience.
How important is customer experience to provider loyalty?
Customer experience plays a huge part in ensuring brand loyalty. From an energy retailer perspective, the experience should be seamless and hassle free; generally, consumers prefer as little interaction with an energy supplier as possible once their account is set up. So when customers do interact with an energy provider, it’s key to make it an easy experience. Every touchpoint a company might have with a customer, whether it's sending a bill or scheduling an appointment, is an opportunity to build that positive experience.