Delivery of leading account management services is helping the way we perceive energy brokers and consultants. We asked Charlotte Fowler, head of account management at Pulse Business Energy, to explain why.
Why don’t suppliers fill the account management role?
A lot of our contacts at supply companies would make great account managers. At the same time, they don’t have the same level of empathy that we do with our clients. When you have hundreds of accounts to manage you simply can’t provide this. We have no restrictions on what we can do. One of our directors likes to remind us that he once sat on the side of a road from 8am to 1pm waiting for a meter installer who had missed the last two appointments to connect a large digital screen on the Euston bypass. On a day to day basis we’ll attend meetings at short notice, quickly turn around research and even support bids clients need help on. Our clients are dynamic and we need to be dynamic in our response. Larger corporates have layers of tape that restricts their speed and ability to think out of the box.
Where do clients need the most support?
It varies from client to client but all clients tend to need help with metering and AMR issues. This is because suppliers pass this work to third parties and whenever that happens the client loses visibility. So we spend a lot of time chasing down those contractors and making sure they keep to schedule. We also provide a lot of reporting in the form of budgets, usage, billing and trading results. We found that the best way to provide this information is on a monthly basis in one reporting suite. Not everyone requires it monthly but everyone knows that each month they will have this should the need arise.
What’s the most rewarding thing you’ve done?
I am really interested in technology (geek!) and for the past six months we’ve been building a new online reporting system that client can access to retrieve bills, budgets, usage data and market news. Working on something like that from the feet up is really rewarding and something to be proud of. As we have always done things our own way it felt right to do the same with this rather than buy something off the shelf and shoe horn it into our clients.
Who would be your dream client?
I studied Culture & Art at university so someone like the National Gallery or British Museum would be. The good thing about our job is that we need to understand the client’s working patterns and therefore energy usage patterns. This involves getting to know their culture and practices on a deeper level so understanding the ins and outs of museum/gallery life for me would be cool.