I’ve just moved house. Meh. It’s exciting obviously and tiring, and a tad stressful. There is also a ton of life admin to do post-move. Some companies make it incredibly easy to do with nice clear comms and excellent customer service. Others, well…

Who is getting it right?

Bulb – I’m a massive fan of Bulb, and I was and am gutted that they fell by the wayside in the global energy crisis. They made it ridiculously easy to 1) tell them I was moving via big clear prompts on their website with a short form to complete 2) reminding me to submit my meter readings in a friendly and unobtrusive manner 3) providing me with a final bill with very clear and explicit instructions on when and how a refund or charge is taken or paid. 10 out of 10 to Bulb. I will miss them.

United Utilities – It was also fairly easy to do an ‘I’m moving’ with UU on their website. And when the new bill came to me via email just a few days later they responded fairly quickly to my request for a water meter survey when I’d pick myself up off the floor at the staggering revised bill.

Natwest – I’ve not been a huge fan of bots on websites and never had a great time with the Natwest bot Cora, BUT she came good on a change of address request. Easy peasy and no phone call needed, no fiddling with a card reader or any facial recognition stuff needed. Bravo Cora.

Virgin – generally very good unless there is an anomaly/you can’t find the thing you need to plug into, and have no idea if you even have one.

Council tax – also easy, but they do say it will take 6 weeks to get the bill which is a bit poor.

The not so good

Insurance – anything insurance related has been a bit pants – maybe it’s a sector-wide issue? The insurance industry is not known for its clear comms, but then again neither was the energy sector until Bulb came along. Ripe for innovation/disruption – heck yes.

Energy- far and way the absolute worst. I am sure this has been compounded by the energy crisis and the back to back storms, and therefore the default is that you are getting in touch due to either the storms OR due to being in debt/crisis, and I get that. And it is a great idea to put those things front and centre if that is where the majority of your queries are coming from, BUT there will be people like me. People who have moved into a new property during the energy crisis and/or back to storms and have no idea who their energy supplier is, or maybe they do but they have a beeping meter (every s*dding 15 mins) or a Hive hub that they can’t use because it’s registered to the previous owner (built-in obsolescence needs banning STAT). Your comms need to also apply to the anomalies, and duff phone numbers, useless instructions and a default ‘what is your account number’ when you don’t have one are just not good enough.

The above are just a selection. I still have more life admin to do. I have done life admin I haven’t even mentioned, I’m even boring myself! There has to be mileage in a one-page online form where you tick all the people/orgs to notify and it just gets done. I get that it might be a GDPR nightmare, but it’s just a thought.

What has become clear to me, from the ones not doing such a good job is that they are not clear on who their comms are for. They are not written for the customer. They are written from the perspective of the business. Wrong approach. The customer journey needs to be mapped. There needs to be a big clear ‘are you moving home’/’have you just moved’ bit on your website. Your comms need to be crystal clear, in plain English, short, snappy and to the point. Movers will thank you, and they will remember you.