Pure Planet update — six months since the Covid-19 lockdown and we started working from home

Thursday, 24 September 20203 minute read
Pure Planet

It’s now six months since the Pure Planet team all started working from home due to Covid-19.

It’s now six months since the Pure Planet team all started working from home due to Covid-19.

We know it’s been a difficult year for many of us, and lots of people are facing yet more uncertainty over the winter months.

Despite all the challenges of 2020 so far, we’re happy that tens of thousands of new Members have joined Pure Planet, and we’ve been recruiting more staff at the same time. We’ve got a few vacancies on the Pure Planet jobs website.

Most of the PP team are still working from home. We’ve opened the office for those who can travel safely. There are lots of office restrictions but it’s nice that some of us can go to our Bath HQ occasionally.

We do all miss each other, of course. But our ability to work from home has been easier than in many companies to achieve, thanks largely to Pure Planet’s digital approach to supporting our Members.

Since March we’ve introduced a few new services, including:

  • New fixed tariffs
  • A summer special Membership fee promotion
  • A new community platform!
  • An EV pilot
  • A campaign called ReachOUT over the summer, aimed at helping about 400 Members struggling with payments and debt.
  • A Q&A with Pure Planet CEO and co-founder Andrew Ralston
  • A price cut
  • A partnership with Hometree for boiler care
  • New EV web pages

24/7 service with WattBot

Our digital assistant WattBot is always on and is available 24 hours a day through the Pure Planet app.

At the start of the lockdown, WattBot was taught to help answer Covid-19 related queries.

Coronavirus-related queries also directed Members to the Direct Debit “account review” tool built into WattBot.

This tool allows Members to request a review of their monthly payments based on their meter readings, and offered an option for Members who were struggling with payments due to Covid-19. We also added further capability to WattBot to assist Members who were having trouble making payments as a result of the pandemic.

We made sure that our Members, especially those most vulnerable, were aware of the support available. On 31 March we sent an email to our Members, making reference to the new features in WattBot.

One of our data scientists, Nadia, has been crunching some numbers about how we’ve supported Members over the last six months.

  • Between March and September 2020, Covid-19 related queries made up 1.1% of overall Member queries

  • 31 March saw our highest usage of the new WattBot “account review” feature

  • Over 80% of Members’ chat queries are currently immediately resolved by Wattbot, our digital assistant, without having to be passed onto our team

  • Of the Members’ chats that were passed on to the team, 85% were responded to within two working days

  • In the last six months about 6,000 new Members joined our Community and there have been 14,000 new posts

Our team’s working hard to get the two-working-day response time above 85%, and of course WattBot is continuing to learn from the questions it’s asked.

Thanks for checking out this Covid-19 update. We can’t believe how quickly the last six months have passed.

Stay safe.

Thanks for being part of Pure Planet.

Head of Knowledge and Community