Among the industries known for low customer service and satisfaction is utility companies.
For decades, utility companies have operated in heavily regulated markets where customers can’t choose their provider. As a result, customer experience and customer care are low (or non-existent) priorities for many utilities.
But as technology changes and more companies enter the utility market, customers have more options for clean energy than ever before. And that means all utility companies have to improve their customer experience to connect with customers and provide convenient, personalized experiences.
Cosimo Spera, Founder & CEO of Minerva CQ, says that utility companies have a mandate to save the planet. And that path to de-carbonization starts with empowering customers as they request a plan sourced from clean energy.
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A goal of saving the planet for future generations may seem lofty, but it begins with applying the right technology and involving customers. Improving utility company CX requires using technology that turns the perception from being bad at customer service to a company that eliminates customers’ problems or solves them with maximum satisfaction.
As an accomplished mathematician, Spera compares customer care to an equation where the two sides must be equal. In CX, those two sides are customers and contact center agents. Companies looking to improve their experience often invest in providing great customer-facing solutions. But that makes for an unequal equation. A well-rounded customer equation also requires empowering agents and providing them with solid solutions to serve customers.
As companies invest in technology, they often do so at the risk of removing the human experience. Spera says the best approach is to combine the power of AI with the power of humans for collaborative intelligence. AI algorithms can streamline and speed up operations, but humans are still better at tracking emotion and building connections with customers. Bringing those two elements together in the customer experience creates a convenient and personalized experience while also building relationships and addressing emotions.
One of the most common problems in utility is a lack of first contact resolution. Customers often have to call multiple times to report a power outage and find answers and an estimate of when the problem will be resolved. Empowering agents with more information and AI-enabled resources and scripts increases their ability to solve problems immediately.
The utility company needs a CX overhaul. Prioritizing customers and agents and providing the right tools can transform the experience and empower customers on their path to clean energy and improving the planet.
Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist and the bestselling author of The Customer of the Future.