The customer experience is critical to the success of any company. It improves customer retention, increases engagement, and reduces complaints. It may even mean more money, with people willing to pay 17 more percent to businesses that offer great customer service experiences.
Yet, these benefits have never typically applied to the majority of utility companies. In an industry with little-to-no competitors due to a highly regulated landscape, the vast majority of utility providers have failed to see the value in spending money on the customer experience.
However, that’s a shortsighted view, and many utility providers are now recognizing that. In fact, investing in the customer experience will not only drive up utility customer satisfaction, but it can lead to significant time and cost savings for the utility.
Here are three ways in which utility providers can update their customer service and create an ever-evolving customer experience that’ll project them into the future:
Customers want to reach out to you on their own terms and that means using their preferred channel of communication. This may include online chats, social media, email, phone or a combination of multiple channels.
But, you can’t just stop at offering more ways to connect. You need to provide consistent services across all your communication channels. In fact, 70% of consumers feel that companies should collaborate internally so that the customer doesn’t have to repeat themselves each time they speak to a different representative.
To better manage your customer experience, customer information needs to be easily accessed and shared with agents through an omnichannel help desk. This will help your customer service professionals provide the best service possible and prevent bad experiences.
According to HubSpot, 90 percent of customers put quick response times (10 minutes or less) at the top of their list when it comes to customer service features. To meet these expectations, technology is key. Software will help with queue management, automated responses for everyday inquiries, and collaborative, seamless workflows.
Did you know, 76 percent of consumers would rather try and resolve their problems themselves before contacting your support team. This is good news for your customer service queues (and service speeds), but it also means that you need to offer resources for customers to perform self-service.
To do this, you may want to provide help guides, FAQs, community forums or how to videos and instructions. Better yet, you can implement a customer self-service portal.
A utility customer portal is an easy-to-use software that helps your customer feel in control of their utility service. This customer portal can host all your self-service resources as well as provide information on utility usage, services and outages. It will also give your customer the ability to pay bills online, view consumption data and manage account information. All this will take stress off of your customer service team and improve customer satisfaction.
Interested in learning how a customer portal can help your utility deliver complex interactions that drive up customer satisfaction? Get your free demo of the SilverBlaze Customer Portal for Utilities today.