Contact Center Automation: Driving CX in Utilities

Utility providers have long known that customer service plays a major role in their success, and the pressure to provide best in class service has never been greater.

With many competitors in the utility space, customers demand low rates, omni-channel service and quick resolution. It only takes one bad experience to encourage your clients to switch to a competitor. Now that social media is used as a go-to resource for reviews, negative attention can quickly cause a ripple effect. So, how do you ensure a positive customer experience every time?

Reduce excessive hold times

Customers want their questions answered quickly, so keeping them waiting can send them over the edge. According to HubSpot research, 33% of customers are most frustrated by having to wait on hold.

Contact center automation monitors the length of time customers are put on hold. You can identify when agents are struggling to handle a customer interaction in real time. Supervisors can provide quick intervention and determine an appropriate training strategy.

Supervisors may also find that agents place customers on hold to give themselves a break during times of high call volume. Monitoring this activity helps you hold agents accountable for their behavior.

Automate training to improve FCR

Can you really blame your agents for a poor experience when they aren’t getting the training necessary to ensure rapid and knowledgeable service?

Contact center processes are far too manual and reactive to leave any time for agents to get the proper development opportunities. At any given moment, volume can pick up and push scheduled training to the wayside.

Contact center automation streamlines the training and coaching process, eliminating the need to schedule and re-schedule classroom training due to fluctuating demand. Training is delivered directly to agents’ desktops during chunks of idle time in-between calls. If volume increases, they receive an instant notification to return to the phones.

By giving your agents consistent development opportunities, they have the expertise to answer questions with ease, provide quick resolution and deliver top-notch service.

Streamline omni-channel service delivery

Customers want and expect consistent service across a plethora of channels. With heavy competition in the utilities industry, it’s especially important for companies to perfect their omni-channel strategies in order to ensure customer satisfaction. According to Aberdeen Group, companies with the strongest omni-channel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, as compared to 33% in companies with weak omni-channel strategies.

Is the WFM team spending their time manually moving agents to the appropriate channels as volume fluctuates? This is not only time that your customers spend waiting to be serviced, but time your WFM team could be spending on more strategic tasks.

Contact center automation reacts to volume fluctuation by balancing resources across channels in real time. If phone volume is down, available agents are prompted to switch to another channel such as chat or email.

Customers receive timely service via the channel of their choice, and the manual process of moving agents is a thing of the past. Using contact center automation, a major gas and electric company not only improved customer satisfaction, but increased labor savings by 5% by leveraging agents across channels.

With the growing importance of customer experience in the utilities industry, implementing an automation strategy to improve processes is key. Customer expectations and competition will only continue to rise, making it crucial to deliver superior service every time.

About the author

Jennifer Lee

Jennifer Lee has over 15 years of experience in the contact center industry and more than a decade of experience as a people leader. She started her career in contact center management in the BPO space, serving as a senior client services manager for a Fortune 100 telecommunications client. Throughout her career, Jennifer has served in a variety of roles in the contact center space, including operations, quality, workforce management, and client services. She also has field experience working with a variety of ACD and WFM platforms and a proven track record of exceeding key performance targets.

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