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Written by Mo Asif, director of service management at the Data Communications Company.
Scaling the operation here at the Data Communications Company has come a long way in recent months, and we’ve achieved some major milestones.
Most prominently, the number of second-generation (SMETS2) smart meters on our secure network has been climbing rapidly and has surged past a quarter of a million. New meters are being installed at the rate of 8 or 9 a minute during the day. You can see the latest data on our website totaliser.
Another major moment was the successful “interoperability” test to prove first-generation meters (SMETS1) can connect to our network, switch to another energy supplier, and retain their smart functionality. Clearly, there’s still a lot to do but these are fantastic milestones to achieve and the momentum keeps gathering pace as we move through the smart meter rollout.
An important part of scaling our operation is making sure that our customers (the energy supply companies and the network operators) are looked after in the best possible way. Over the last few months, we’ve been working hard to make sure the right resources and processes are in place to support customers effectively, and we’ll make sure this continues into 2019 and beyond.
We’ve introduced a customer satisfaction (CSAT) tool that’s helping to capture views from our customers, feeding directly into operation reviews and new improvement initiatives. But it’s not just about surveys; it’s about relationships -- that’s why we’ve put in place a great team of service management and operational professionals who are making sure the customer is at the forefront of everything we do.
The team are regularly out and about visiting our customers across the country to get a real understanding how things are going and provide any additional support we can to make the transition to using the Data Communications Company as smooth as possible.
Taking on board feedback, responding to it and acting on it are commitments we’re serious about. We’ve been working hard to introduce a dedicated customer portal to provide a one-stop area for all things relating to a specific customer. We’re confident this portal will make our customers’ lives easier and we’ll continuously refine it with their input.
Another initiative in place is an official consultation that’s currently live to seek feedback from our customers on the best way to engage. I’d encourage all customers and interested stakeholders to take part and send their views through so we can make sure our customers have greater influence over decision making here at the DCC https://www.smartdcc.co.uk/customer-hub/consultations/improving-smart-dcc-engagement-with-customers-and-stakeholders/
2019 is going to be an exciting year for smart metering, our customers, and the Data Communications Company. Here’s to a succession of delivery milestones, and a year worth celebrating!