Customer Care Group
This special interest group is where customer care professionals share tactics on how utilities are improving interactions with their customers.
Will Office Closures Mean Missed CX Opportunities?
- Jan 10, 2023 5:04 am GMT
Louisville Gas and Electric will close all 26 of its business offices, calling it “best practice among similar utilities.” The utility said, the decline in walk-in transactions and the increase in self-services make the decision to reduce their overhead an easy one. New York’s Central Hudson Gas & Electric uses a self-service portal that allows customers to make payments and keep track of their accounts online. Are utilities missing out on a crucial point of contact by eliminating in-person opportunities to explain rising costs and financial assistance to bewildered customers?
Research revealed more about customer satisfaction that will change your customer experience approach. “Customers buffeted by inflation and economic anxiety are looking for solutions to manage their energy spending,” said K.C. Boyce, vice president at Escalent. “While many utilities have approached rising energy prices by trying to explain why prices have increased, it’s clear that the utilities that have successfully navigated these challenges have instead focused on providing energy-efficiency, rate and billing programs that give customers more control over their budgets.”
Customers want to be involved and they expect connected and consistent interactions across multiple channels, like email, live chat, phone, messaging apps, etc. However, only one-third of businesses are considered ‘omnichannel’ or are providing multiple channels of communication. Will the use of alternative channels for customer communication successfully satisfy customers? According to the Zendesk Customer Experience (CX) Trends Report 2022, despite the rise in investments in CX, customers still aren’t happy with their experiences. The report showed that 92 percent of customers will spend more with companies that ensure they won’t need to repeat information. 90 percent will spend more with companies that personalize the customer service they offer them; and 89 percent will spend more with companies that allow them to find answers online without having to contact anyone.
If your company ‘explores the data’ and keeps on the ‘watch for trends in feedback’ they will know where and how to invest in communication channels available to customers. Notable points made by Forbes Communication Council also include, reaching out to customers quarterly to show you value them and creating meaningful, in-context communication. Jonathan Shroyer of Arise Gaming said, “Simple, engaging content is much better than robust, comprehensive newsletters.”
In this nearly post-pandemic world, customer communication is not limited to in-person transactions. Companies can take full advantage of every digital avenue to provide positive and personal customer experiences.
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