Commercial practices

Challenges

In a highly regulated market such as energy, great vigilance must be exercised regarding commercial practices. These are important from the standpoint of compliance with the law (consumer protection in particular), and they also impact customer satisfaction, in the short- and long-term, as well as the company’s image.

 

Dishonest practices can result in complaints* to the administration (FPS Economy), regulators or federal ombudsman.

The context: an evolution in 2017 towards greater transparency

Belgian legislation includes a very large number of texts regulating the business practices of gas and electricity suppliers.

A new federal agreement on “consumer protection” signed in June 2017

In June 2017, EDF Luminus signed the new agreement protecting “the consumer in the liberalised electricity and gas market,” published under the aegis of the federal government.

This voluntary signing makes the agreement binding on EDF Luminus. 

The primary changes in the 2017 agreement compared to the previous (2013) agreement provide additional clarity:

  • in terms of rates and promotions
  • regarding tariff conditions in the event of non-payment, which must be communicated at the beginning of the contract.

The implementation of these new measures was prepared in 2017, to come into effect on 1 January or on 1 April 2018 on the contracts and bills.

Very strict rules for all salespeople

EDF Luminus works with various Belgian companies specialised in different sales techniques: face to face, by telephone, or in public spaces. Subcontracted companies are certified each year and are held responsible for the actions of their personnel.

 

For face-to-face sales, EDF Luminus has created a specific Code of Conduct that all salespeople must sign before beginning their activities. The code includes the legal obligations in Belgium as well as rules specific to EDF Luminus. Salespeople may only sell EDF Luminus products. They follow a training course, and must pass a compulsory annual exam, which gives them their right to certification. The training course enables the salespeople to study the situation of each customer and to propose solutions that allow them to save energy.

 

In its ongoing commitment to business practices that comply with the legislation, EDF Luminus cooperates closely with the administrations (FPS Economy) and the federal government.

Indicators

EDF Luminus measures the satisfaction of its customers at different moments, combining several methods/indicators. To evaluate the quality of the sales process, the satisfaction of residential customers in particular is measured via the NPS* (Net Promoter Score).

A stable score for measurement after receipt of the first bill

Net Promoter Score for “New Customers "                                                 

*An “NPS” (Net Promoter Score) is calculated as the difference between Promoters and Detractors. It is a very demanding indicator that enables the evaluation of both customer satisfaction and retention. The score is calculated every month on a representative sample of 3000 customers.


Source: EDF Luminus.

In 2017, the NPS score for “New Customers” was stable, in relation to 2016. An analysis of the reasons shows that, again this year, the first bill is one of the main causes of dissatisfaction. Indeed, the monthly instalments calculated by EDF Luminus strive to avoid unpleasant surprises when the yearly bill is received.

NEW:A new, more precise indicator added in 2017

 

Clients very satisfied immediately after signing their contract: NPS score +31

In 2017, an additional measurement was added, just after the commercial contact and the processing of the contract, to evaluate this specific phase of the customer relationship. The NPS score on this new measurement was +31 for the year 2017, which indicates a high level of satisfaction vis-à-vis the company’s business practices.


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