Customer Engagement Handbook
The Customer Engagement Handbook has been designed to provide practical guidance to energy network businesses in fostering transparent dialogue with their customers.
In developing the Handbook, Energy Networks Australia conducted formal engagement workshops and ongoing conversations with CSIRO social science experts, customer engagement practitioners from energy network businesses, and customer advocacy and other stakeholder groups.
Energy Networks Australia and the CSIRO recognise that engagement practice and expertise will evolve over time, and that this Handbook should be viewed as the beginning of a process, not the end. Further work on content may be incorporated into subsequent editions of this Handbook and there is important ongoing work that should take place between all participants in the energy system to share experience and expertise.
Potential opportunities to progress engagement practices across the industry have also been identified and circulated in a complementary document, Sharing Customer Engagement Practice. This document will be used in ongoing discussions to advance improved engagement and measurement practices with a range of industry stakeholders
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Customer Engagement Handbook Goals
The Customer Engagement Handbook goals are to:
- Provide guidance to Energy Networks Australia member businesses for customer engagement – The Handbook challenges network businesses to give the highest priority to customer engagement. It aims to equip them with practical advice in a manner that is tailored for issues and challenges relevant to the energy sector.
- Provide the opportunity for continuous learning and evolution of engagement activities –The Handbook provides a foundation for ongoing information sharing between customers and network businesses
- and for continuous improvement in their engagement activities. It is recognised that engagement practice and expertise will evolve over time, and that ongoing work should take place on strengthening engagement practice beyond the publication of this Handbook.
- Strengthen relationships between energy networks, customers and consumer groups – The Handbook is designed to support network businesses’ engagement activities, provide transparency around engagement processes and goals, and address customer and stakeholder expectations about engagement.
- Support the use of performance measurement and indicator tools in engagement activities – The Handbook identifies meaningful performance measures, aims to promote consistency in metrics used across network businesses and activities, and is designed to assist in tracking their engagement performance over time.
- Leverage opportunities for networks to collaborate on customer engagement – The Handbook is designed to enable and encourage collaboration between network businesses and their customers to maximise efficiencies and effectiveness of their shared engagement activities.
This Handbook is intended to build on the considerable work that electricity and gas transmission and distribution network service providers have already undertaken to develop consumer engagement strategies and implement engagement programs with customers.
It does not duplicate the Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) Consumer Engagement Guideline for Network Service Providers, but is intended to complement and build on it (and other guidelines) to help network businesses plan, execute, evaluate and continuously improve their engagement activities.
A supporting Handbook Feedback document has been circulated with the Handbook. This document outlines all feedback provided throughout the development of the Handbook, together with changes that have been made within the final Handbook to address this feedback.