Direct Energy – A lesson in what not to do

I called the company that provides me a hot water tank for my house, Direct Energy, because I was considering whether or not I needed a more efficient tank. Some friends have moved to the tank less water heating systems that cost more, but take up less space and is more efficient. I was hoping to have a simple conversation with a knowledgeable person who could help me determine the best option for me.

Instead what I found was a company offering two different products, hot water tanks and tank less hot water systems, and a different department servicing each one. I was forced to speak with someone in each department to find out what I needed. They each called themselves consultants, but no one could “consult” me on my best option, only the benefits of each specific product. This made no sense to me.

What makes this story even better is that they offered to send someone to my house to assess my current situation and advise me on the best solution. However, I would have needed to make appointments with two different people, one for each product. So the best solution would in fact only deal with one product or the other, without any comparison between the two. How can an organization advise customers of the best alternative if they don’t know all of the alternatives?

I ended up having conversations with three different representatives to find out what I needed to know. None of them knew anything about the other product or how it compares to what they were offering. In the end, I am staying with what I have, but it shouldn’t have taken three people and 15 minutes of my time to determine that. Nor should I have had to make that determination myself.

Here’s some free advice for Direct Energy: combine your sales teams together so that they can truly provide value to customers by helping them determine what the best option is based on their individual circumstances.