Npower in bid to tackle poor customer reputation with comms shake-up

Npower has vowed to fight its reputation for poor customer service after instigating a major shake-up of its comms approach.

Comms reset: Esnouf will lead corporate PR for Npower
Comms reset: Esnouf will lead corporate PR for Npower

The ‘big six’ energy firm is repitching its UK PR roster, worth around £1m annually, and has poached E.ON’s Guy Esnouf to lead its corporate PR.

The move comes after Npower polled last in January’s Which? annual energy satisfaction survey for the second year in a row.

The comms revamp also follows the firm’s wholesale refocus on its retail business after RWE absorbed the power generation part of Npower in a restructure last year.

The roster covers both consumer and corporate work, with incumbents McCann Birmingham, Frank and Camargue invited to repitch after RFPs were sent out last week.

Richard Frost, Npower’s head of PR, said: ‘It’s a very challenging but exciting time – with major changes taking place both here and in the industry as a whole.

‘Npower is committed to being number one for customer experience by 2015 and we’re planning to ramp up our PR and social media as part of this bold vision.’

Npower received the energy sector’s lowest customer satisfaction rating, acc-ording to Which?, and recorded the second highest proportion of customer complaints in the first quarter of 2013, behind EDF Energy. It has also faced claims it has avoided paying more than £100m in UK corporation tax.

New corporate comms director Esnouf will join at the start of October following five years at E.ON as UK head of corporate and internal comms.

His arrival comes in the wake of comms director Alison Cole leaving Npower in January after the firm’s retail-only refocus led to a merging of the PR and public affairs teams.

Cole has since taken on the role of interim deputy director of comms at Royal Mail.

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