It’s no secret that once upon a time, utility companies could get away with less than stellar customer service. Nowadays, increased competition means that customers have more alternatives than ever before, and are willing to switch providers if they are unhappy. Even utility companies that operate in a de facto monopoly have regulators mandating certain customer service levels with corresponding CSAT scores.
While utility companies can certainly do their best to control customer service metrics like CSAT, they do not control the weather. Hot or cold, call centers in the utilities industry experience drastic spikes in call volume due to seasonal weather changes and unforeseen weather events. A widespread outage caused by a winter storm or a heatwave can completely overwhelm your organization’s customer service department and its phone lines.
While it would be easier to neglect the customer experience in favor of the “just get it done” mentality that stems from such a drastic increase in call volume, it’s important that your call center aims to please, especially during the busiest seasons of the year. After all, this is how customer relationships are made or broken.
By planning now to prepare your call center for these seasonal spikes, you can easily avoid any major fallout. In our latest field guide, you’ll read about four of the most important ways you can get your call center ready for whatever mother nature decides to throw your way. Here’s a sneak peek:
Be Proactive with Outbound Notifications
From using your IVR to notify customers of any outages to texts to customers, ensure that you are delivering time-critical information to customers. After all, they don’t want to waste time and energy calling you.
Get Forecasting Right
One of the most important issues utility call centers face during winter and summer seasons is staffing. During these periods, call centers typically have the biggest total staff on board, as well as new staff joining their teams. For this period, you should put a special emphasis on planning and workforce management.
(This is just a sample – you can download the full guide here!)
Managing drastic spikes in call volume while preserving a world-class customer experience is not easy. However, there are certain tactical actions that can alleviate the pressure your organization faces during these seasonal events, while allowing your customers an easy way to access the information they need to feel reassured. This is how you build that all-important and hard-earned trust, a key ingredient critical to customer retention.
Learn how to “weather-proof” your call center with this handy, game-changing guide.
It’s easy: Download it below!