Australia's best customer service

Alinta Energy named Australia’s best customer service operation of its size by national Customer Service Council.

Alinta Energy’s in-house Customer Service Centre has won the Gold Medal for Australia’s best customer service excellence for a Medium Enterprise or Division of Business, at the national Customer Service Council’s 12th annual awards.

The national recognition was presented at a gala event held Friday 3 October at Perth’s Duxton Hotel.

Alinta Energy was one of four national finalists in its category (Medium Enterprise or Division of Business). The Customer Service Council’s Australian network includes 5000 organisations, who are encouraged to submit applications for the annual awards. Alinta Energy was selected as a finalist following a rigorous assessment that included the original written submission, a video presentation, ‘mystery shopping,’ and evaluation by a judging panel.

‘It was the most competitive year in the 12-year history of the awards program,’ said Customer Service Council Chairman, Chris Lejmanoski. ‘Alinta Energy came in ahead of some very impressive organisations, and certainly demonstrates that customer service at Alinta is not just a word, it’s part of the West Coast Customer Service Team’s DNA.’

It follows a history of service excellence that has been demonstrated through consistently high customer satisfaction (90+ per cent) and internal employee engagement (consistently in the top quartile for Australian employers).

‘We actively try to be the customer’s first choice, through building a culture of service that focusses on the customer and evolves with their needs,’ said Lucky Poulos, General Manager for WA Retail Operations. ‘We are genuinely honoured to be recognised for these efforts.’

In the past year, Alinta Energy has taken several measures to enhance its historically-high levels of service. These include updating the website to make the customer experience (billing, account information, and enquiries) more accessible and intuitive; introducing a customer-focussed arrears strategy with reminders through SMS; and physically refurbishing the Customer Service Centre to foster better efficiency and creative-thinking.

‘This year’s service improvements have built on our past strengths: continually seeking customer feedback to ensure Alinta both meets and exceeds customer expectations, and focussing on developing our staff so every employee is clear on the role they play for the customer,’ Poulos said.

Alinta Energy’s Perth-based Customer Service Centre now services more than 600,000 WA customers. Its customer service has been managed in-house – by Alinta employees in Perth – since 1995, when the former AlintaGas began operating. This ensures excellent standards, as well as relevance to customer needs.

The Customer Service Council is a not-for-profit organisation that recognises and encourages customer service best-practice, innovation and leadership. Since its launch in 2001, it has recognised more than 100 organisations across Australia for customer service excellence. Award submissions are evaluated against a range of customer service criteria, with a focus on ‘best practice’ factors such as response times, staff satisfaction, innovation, communication & technology, customer access and reporting. Overall, the council seeks out examples of organisations that continuously raise customer service standards through each of these elements.

More information is available on the organisation’s website.