Utility Customer Care Roundup
Illustration 143237990 © Abu Sayed Khudri - Dreamstime.com
- May 23, 2019
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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.