Choosing Suppliers

In the know: The questions you should be looking for on an energy supplier’s FAQ page

5 min read

25 September 2017

Special projects journalist

Good customer service means offering a hand to hold through the initial sign up or switching process, as well as good problem-solving and account management throughout the life of the contract.

Everyone knows that customer service is important, and it pays to do your research. Here are the frequently-asked questions to address before signing up.

In our Choosing the Right Supplier series so far, we have explored a range of factors growing business owners should consider when selecting a new supplier.

Hopefully, you will be convinced of the importance of ensuring good levels of customer service from any new provider you take on – and if you are not sure you can read our case for it here.

Good customer service means offering a hand to hold through the initial sign up or switching process, as well as good problem-solving and account management throughout the life of the contract.

Poor customer service can result in flared tempers and wasted time – something no small business owner has time for.

One way of ensuring good levels of customer service in a new supplier is by delving a little deeper into its website. You can check out how comprehensive the FAQ is, and how you could contact this provider in the event of a mishap.

To help, we’ve rounded up some of the key questions you should be able to find the answers to on an energy provider’s FAQ – providing an insight into the sorts of things businesses should be looking for:

FAQ page: How do I switch to this provider?

It is in a supplier’s interest to make it easy to switch – if there is no clear advice here, a customer is unlikely to receive good service in the event of a problem.

The supplier should offer an online form or a phone number to call – or both – so that getting a quote is as simple as possible.

FAQ page: How do I know how much I am paying?

Transparency when it comes to invoices is crucial – especially for business owners who are already juggling 101 other things.

A new supplier should make it clear where on the contract the current energy prices can be viewed – and whether they are fixed or fluctuating with market prices.

FAQ page: When does my contract run out?

One thing to watch out for with energy contracts is rollover prices. Customers should be contacted by a provider when the contract is nearing its end, and if renegotiating is not dealt with then a company may be rolled over onto a more expensive tariff.

For this reason, a supplier should make it clear when a contract expires, and the FAQ should state where a business customer can find this information, and what happens next.

FAQ page: How do I terminate this contract?

Just as suppliers should explain how to sign up in the first place, a decent FAQ will also include an overview of how to leave the supplier if a customer is not happy with its services, or if it wishes to go elsewhere.

FAQ page: Other things to look out for

Owners may have some questions that are specific to the business, or contract type.

For example, if a company is worried about cash flow problems then it should be able to find information on what happens if it struggles to pay an energy bill. If the business is considering scaling up and moving premises in the near future, it should be able to find information on how to transfer service across premises.

It’s important to take your time to explore the FAQs on a few different suppliers, and familiarise yourself with the customer service procedures.

It never hurts to stay informed, and have an understanding of what a business customer can expect from a supplier.