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

Question

How can utilities turn a customer care experience into a high CSAT and revenue building opportunity?

Mark Wilkinson's picture
SVP Products Ibex Digital

Helping utilities and their customer experience teams transform customer journeys,  decode customer insights  and enhance revenues for nearly 15 years.  At Ibex, I lead the teams delivering...

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As more utilities face budget and revenue challenges resulting from pandemic conditions, more and more companies look for revenue enhancement opportunities.  Finding a balance between new business and customer loyalty presents special challenges.  How can utilities take a page from other industries to enhance a customer care engagement into a revenue opportunity that also benefits the customer experience?

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Other industries have earned high marks from customers and created lucrative new revenue streams by adding steps to traditional customer service programs that offer advice or helpful upgrades to overcome customer issues.  For example, consumer products companies traditionally would refer customers to a local repair station when they called with a device defect or problem.  Today, more companies are using these customer care moments to take an order for a replacement part and texting customers a link to a DIY video for an easy and immediate repair.  Customers appreciate the immediate solution to the problem, even if it costs a bit because they get a more satisfying resolution to their issue.

We're interested in learning how utilities have adapted to those increasing customer demands for immediate corrective action, and how they can add a few new services to their Care Ecosystem to develop high-satisfaction and new revenue to those programs.

Billing questions present a frequent opportunity to help customers with savings-oriented strategies for their home.  How many utilities enable their care organization to spend a few extra minutes on the phone with customers to identify if they own a smart thermostat?  For those customers interested but unsure, Customer Care could offer an instant rebate and even take the order on the call to drop ship a new thermostat to the customer.  Taken a step further, proactive engagement could encourage customers to enroll in demand response to take money savings and energy efficiency to a new level.

Or, in a smaller example, that same "discovery" experience may determine that customers could improve efficiency in their heating and cooling systems with a filter change or HVAC checkup.  Utilities that offer subscription programs or contractor links could send a simple text message giving customers a way to take action to save on their bills.

Thinking outside the box about customer care calls created new channels for many companies and industries to develop customer loyalty, high satisfaction, great one-call resolution stats, and new sources of incremental revenue to enhance their operating budgets.  How can utilities encourage those same opportunities for their customers?

Paul Korzeniowski's picture
Paul Korzeniowski on Jul 7, 2021

Good points. Customer service dramatically changed in the past 10 years or so. Traditionally, utilities, as well asother businesses  focused on how they could reduce expenses in this area. Now, they see potential new revenue opportunities as well as the chance to improve customer satisfaction. As a result, utilities need to change their outlooks, a transition that may be easier said than done.  

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