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Utility Customer Care Roundup

Illustration 143237990 © Abu Sayed Khudri - Dreamstime.com

In the year and a half that I’ve been writing for Energy Central, I’ve had the opportunity to cover many fascinating topics. Among them have been a number of subjects related to customer care. For the special report about the Transformation of Utility Customer Care, I’ve collected them in one place so readers can get a sampling of ideas they might like to try out to improve the experience customers have in doing business with their utilities. Happy reading!

Behind the Scenes

An Important Tool for the Utility CX Toolbox: Customer Journey Mapping

With customers becoming an increasingly important focus for utilities, the insights gained from customer journey mapping are critical for determining new offerings, programs, and technologies that will strengthen utility-customer relationships.

How Utilities Are Using Chatbots to Improve Customer Care

Chatbots can be useful in situations in which the appropriate responses to customer inquiries can be easily predicted. Chatbots offer numerous benefits, but, to reap them, utilities must use the right implementation approach.

What Makes a Good Utility Self-Service Portal?

A self-service portal meets customers’ increasing demand for convenient service options. But, a bad portal is worse than none at all, so utilities should consider several factors before moving forward.

Power Restoration

Apps Help Utilities Speed up Power Restoration

A current technology trend for utilities is a wide array of apps designed specifically for emergency power restoration. They enable first responders and utility professionals to coordinate efforts for faster, safer responses.

Hurricane Harvey Taught CenterPoint Energy the Value of Innovation

CenterPoint Energy has a straightforward process for getting power back online following a hurricane. But, during Hurricane Harvey in 2017, employees had to rely on mutual assistance partnerships and willingness to use technology in new ways.

Indianapolis Power & Light Shares Its Formula for Outage Management Success

Indianapolis Power & Light boasts an exceptional outage planning program that directs on-schedule outage maintenance 90 percent of the time. Here Outage Management Scheduler Debbie Hubbard explains the secrets of the program's success.

Billing

On-Bill Financing for Efficiency Improvements Helps Utilities, Their Customers, and the Environment

On-bill financing represents a way to increase the level of energy efficiency for large swaths of communities, resulting in greater efficiency for the local utility, reduced energy bills for customers, and a reduction in harmful pollution.

Customer Relationships

For Utilities, Customer Relationships Are More Important Than Ever

A variety of factors, such as a demand for deeper engagement and more digital communication options, have put utilities in the position of placing customers at the forefront of their planning. Here's how they're doing it.

The New Rules for Customer Care

Utilities can’t rely on the same old strategies to keep customers happy. Due to evolving customer expectations, advanced technological solutions, and new tools for more effectively deploying agents, the customer care rules have changed.

Upping Your Customer Experience Game: Strategies for Utilities in 2018

Now is a good time to think about business enhancements, and customer experience (CX) is one of the most critical areas to focus on for any company’s success.

Utilities Should Consider These 3 Areas When Upgrading CX

Utilities haven't historically gotten high marks for their customer-friendly approach. But, as consumers increasingly experience customer-centric service from other companies, they expect the same from their energy providers.

Communication

5 Things Utilities Should Tell Customers About EVs

Power companies that want to promote EV usage must develop an overarching program — including strong communication with customers to ensure they understand the scope of support.

10 Tips for Communicating with Customers About TOU

A new pricing structure can be confusing and frustrating for customers, especially if they don't understand how it benefits them. That's why utilities must develop a robust communication strategy around time of use pricing.

Customer Communication Is a Key Component of Emergency Response

While sending out updates about repairs following a storm may sometimes seem unnecessary, not doing so can alienate customers and diminish their positive customer experience with your utility.

How to Help Businesses Prepare for a Power Outage

Businesses have different challenges than residents when the power goes out. Utilities can help businesses through power outages by promoting preparedness. Here are some suggestions to share.

Public Relations

At Loveland Water and Power, Every Day Is Get to Know Your Customers Day

In an effort to build close relationships with customers, Loveland Water and Power creates trust, transparency, and respect by sharing information on social media, attending city-sponsored events, and participating in the community.

For Utilities, Social Media Can Be a Powerful Communication Tool

As an interaction method, social media offers numerous benefits for utilities, including being easily accessible, timely, and two-way. These benefits can be put to use in several important situations.

Social Media Light Shines Bright at Longmont Power and Communication

Longmont Power and Communication, in Longmont, Colorado, has been successful at reaching its two main social media goals: grow its audience and reach more people who speak Spanish as a first language.

Use Lunch & Learns to Educate, Inform, and Inspire Customers

A Lunch & Learn is an educational session that takes place during the lunch hour. Utilities can use Lunch & Learns as part of the all-important task of keeping customers engaged. Here are some ideas for creating your own successful Lunch & Learn program.

Utilities Help Customers Play the Energy Saving Game

Saving energy may have more of a serious undertone than an entertaining one, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Utilities are using gamification and energy-based board games to get customers to save energy.

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Thank Karen for the Post!

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