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Letter from Editor: Special Issue The Transformation of Utility Customer Care - Part 1

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Audra Drazga's picture
Vice President of The Power Industry Network Energy Central

I am the VP of the Energy Central Power Industry Network.  In this role, I help to connect professionals in the power industry through the development and management of topic-specific community...

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  • May 25, 2019 9:45 pm GMT
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This item is part of the Special Issue - 2019-05 - Customer Care, click here for more

Utilities face challenges from many directions, including customers. As consumers interact with other types of companies in their daily lives, they experience personalization, digitization, and access to 24/7 omnichannel service. They then come to expect the same from their utilities. Some utilities have been better at adapting to these expectations than others.

The good news is that these challenges can be approached as opportunities. No matter where your utility is on this adaptation journey, there’s always something you can do right now to move forward, even if by just a few steps. “Transformation of Utility Customer Care” is a special Hot Topic section from Energy Central featuring the best ideas about how you can improve your customer service offerings today.

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Here are some highlights from Part 1:

  • Read tips from Travis Rhodes for creating a personalized contact center experience. Doable, affordable steps include unifying customer data, deploying ranked recommendations, and using predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Gain insights from Jack Ukropina into how Southern California Edison and Message Broadcast collaborated on an emergency notifications platform that has led to a rise in customer satisfaction, increased resource productivity by 60%, improved notification execution times by 80%, and eliminated delivery latency of critical communications.  
  • Discover ways to delight customers via smart use of digital tools, shared by Rahul Pandey. Some possibilities include platforms to collect customer comments, updated outage management systems, and a strong social media presence.
  • Find out how to cement positive, trusting customer relationships during service interruptions from Jay Malin at Agent 511. While power outages can be disruptive, inconvenient, and potentially dangerous, they’re also prime opportunities for utilities to shine.
  • At CW week Mike Smith and SoCalGas David Baron presented on Advanced Analytics and Machine Learning in Utility Customer Management: A Matter of Life and Data.  Read highlights from the presentation and understand how your utility can embrace these progressive and forward-thinking approaches.
  • Customer care is constantly evolving.  In a word or social media and instant gratification, utilities need to stay on top of the ever-changing world to meet customer need.  Learn from Neveln Black on how you can Reinvent your customer care practices
  • What is missing in Utility Customer Care?  “The forward view”. Utilities need to adapt and anticipate where customers will be in 5-10 years.  Read this article from Andrew McKenna and learn 5 recommend steps you can implement Today!
  • “What are the key ingredients to outstanding customer experience in energy supply?” Access a 10-set guide to superior customer experience in energy retail provided by Victoria Drehorva.
  • What programs do you have in place to listen to the voice of your customers?  Do you use CX analytics to drive your development? Learn more from Stuart Ravens and see how Alliant Energy based its EV pilot program on feedback from their VoC research. 
  • Learn how to create a world-class customer experience strategy from Abhay Gupta. Strategies include personalizing your offerings, listening to your customers, and viewing yourself from your customers’ point of view.
  • The utility customer environment is very different from that of even 5 years ago.  Utility companies will need to adapt and implement new systems to help them thrive in this new era.  While adaptation brings challenges it also brings opportunities!  Read more from Kelly James. 
  • Alexa can you help me?  "The Voice Revolution is coming" and is probably the next wave in customer engagement.  Is your utility company ready?  Read more from Shaina Kaye about how using voice assistance can help transform your customer engagement
  • Call centers are an essential part to a utility’s customer care program, but is there a way to make these centers pay for themselves? Learn from Julie Lohmeier how you can turn you call centers into a source of revenue.  

We hope you benefit from this special section. As always, be sure to like and comment on articles you find particularly interesting. Then, contribute your own piece about how you integrate these ideas into your own customer care offerings! Happy reading.

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