E.ON introduces ‘Sam’: an innovative new solution that brings control and convenience to people moving home

PRESS RELEASE: E.ON has launched what is believed to be the energy industry’s first ever online ‘chatbot’ service specifically designed to offer customers a smarter solution to help them manage their energy accounts when they’re moving home.

The new service uses a virtual advisor called ‘Sam’: a chatbot (short for ‘chat robot’) which is a computer program designed to simulate a human conversation. Sam will help transform the experience of customers who are moving home by giving them a simple, convenient way to share important information with E.ON, such as their move date, meter readings and changes to their address.

According to research from E.ON1, moving home is the most stressful event for two in three people (62%), ahead of going through a divorce or break up (43%), being interviewed for or starting a new job (43%), having a baby (39%) and planning a wedding (36%).

With one in ten people (11%) saying they’ve moved home 10 times or more, and a similar number saying that having an expert would help make moving easier (12%), Sam has been launched to offer customers the support they need by allowing them to easily manage the energy elements of their home move online or via their mobile phone whenever it suits them.

This first phase of the service enables customers who’ve already left their previous property and who have an online energy account to use Sam to notify E.ON simply and easily of the date they moved out, their closing meters readings at that property, and their new address.

Over the coming weeks and months, the service will evolve to also enable customers to tell E.ON, via Sam, about their meter readings at their new property, to choose their tariff and to discuss any queries with Live Chat advisors, whether they have an online account with E.ON or not.

Phil Shaw, Director of Sales and Service Operations at E.ON, said: “We know that moving house is an incredibly stressful time for many people. We’re always keen to offer our customers the support they need and solutions that can genuinely improve their experiences with us. That’s why we’re delighted to launch this innovative service that could help make dealing with us easier and quicker at this often frantic time.

“With so many companies to deal with when moving home, customers can simply use Sam to tell us about the really important stuff we need to know – like their moving date, meter readings and new address – in just a couple of minutes and whenever it suits them, leaving them free to deal with the hundred and one other things that need to happen on and around moving day.

“Many customer interactions require conversations with our advisors – either on the phone, through our social channels, through email or via Live Chat. But sometimes having an easy-to-use online tool is just what our customers need. That’s why, in addition to the host of services already available, we’re pleased to be leading the way by launching this pioneering solution for our customers.”

People questioned1 said that the most stressful aspects of moving home were misplacing things (32%) and not being able to find essentials (30%), struggling to fit existing furniture into their new home (29%) or into the moving van (28%), forgetting to redirect post and update suppliers (25%) and arguing with those they’re moving with (25%).

Other areas of anxiety included causing injury by moving heavy boxes (20%), breaking possessions (19%) and damaging the property (16%), not remembering how furniture fits back together (14%), and not knowing how to use built-in appliances (14%).

People also worried about forgetting to take electricity and gas meter readings (13%) and not knowing who supplied energy and utilities at their new property (13%).