This special interest group is where customer care professionals share tactics on how utilities are improving interactions with their customers. 

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Why Customers Call?

Quick.. can you name the top 10 reasons why your customers call? 

The most popular answers are likely Move in / Move out, Turn on / Turn off, Outage, Pay My Invoice or Bill, Respond to a Shut-off Notice, Request Service. etc. Take a moment right now and jot down your top 10 reasons.  

Most of the Utilities and Energy Companies get to around 5 or 6 main reasons.  (Your assignment is to post your top 10 below so we can all compare what you came up with!) 

Now, if we remove the words "top 10 reasons" and re-ask the simple question..."why customers call?"... the likely answer is that an alternative channel doesn't yet exist in my Utility.  And that is the trending focus in 2019 and beyond for many Utilities.. just like yours.

What would the alternate channel really look like for your Utility?  Is it a complex interactive voice response (IVR) menuing scheme?  Is it a cool new splashy looking APP for your iPhone or Android device?  Maybe it's a web portal?   Perhaps a combination of all three?    It really depends on the Utility, the demographics of your customer base and the resources available to resolve the business challenge.   Now look at the list of reasons why customers call that you jotted down moments ago.   How would the best non-voice solution solve for these items?

In previous posts, we've talked about how wages are increasing for agents which, actually is sort of connected to this post about "why customers call".    As costs for your live agents increases (either insourced our outsourced), ensuring that those agents are engaged in ONLY the more complicated, higher skilled, more human-touch required solutions -- will be key to getting the return on your investment. And that means "deflecting" the most common reasons customers call to a channel that will provide for self-service.   

In future posts, we will explore some new & cutting edge solutions to drive digital deflection.  To ensure you get the latest news, please follow me on this channel and/or post a comment below.  Get involved!    You are already here and invested in this topic -- so go ahead and take the next step.  Participate in the discussion.  



Scott Karlin's picture

Thank Scott for the Post!

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Scott Karlin's picture
Scott Karlin on February 13, 2019

C'mon... don't be shy... post your reasons "why customers call".

Karen Marcus's picture
Karen Marcus on February 13, 2019

Scott, what percentage of utilities would you say get it "right," i.e. use human interaction only for high-level concerns?

Scott Karlin's picture
Scott Karlin on February 14, 2019

Great question Karen.    From my vantage point working with many Utilities, the number is actually in the single digits since the technology available is relatively new -- and Utilities are historically slow adopters/movers.     

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