Due to the evolution of technology, customers across every single industry now want instant and seamless issue resolution. Friction in the customer support journey can significantly affect a utility provider’s satisfaction levels, and ultimately results in a below-par customer experience (CX).
By reducing friction in your customer support strategy, you will make it far easier for your utility customers - whether water, sewerage, electricity, gas or telecom - to do business with you and you will significantly improve the CX.
Simple changes that eliminate friction will reduce the chance of your customers feeling frustrated, stressed, angry, or disappointed in your company.
Are you a utility provider looking to reduce customer support friction and improve your customer experience? SilverBlaze has created a four-step guide:
1 - Implement a self-service platform through content
The implementation of a self-service strategy into your utility can help to significantly reduce the number of calls your customer service representatives receive. This, in turn, will free your customer support team to work on more complex tasks that deliver higher value to your customers.
Useful and valuable content on your website or customer portal is a fantastic way to empower your customers to answer their own questions. Through the use of content, such as blogs and FAQs, you can provide your customers with all the information they’ll need to resolve their own issues.
If customers can find the answers they need at the mere click of a button, they’ll be far more satisfied with your utility’s customer experience.
2 - Provide multiple channels for customer service support
Customers today can engage with your company on a wide number of devices. To reduce friction it’s essential that your utility implements an omnichannel approach that enables customers to engage with you through laptops, phones, email, smartphones and tablets.
Customers want to engage with you at any time of the day, on the device that they are currently using. Having to change devices to contact your organization because you don’t support their device/platform, or having to wait until the next morning because your office is shut, will only frustrate your customers.
Utility providers will see significant benefits from offering tools for digital engagement, including a customer portal that lets customers pay their bills, view usage management solutions and receive outage notifications all on their preferred device.
3 - Automate internal processes for improved efficiencies
The implementation of automated technology into internal processes is a necessary step for any utility provider looking to improve the customer experience and reduce customer support friction.
Automation can be used for repetitive, high-volume and data-based tasks - saving your utility time and money, and allowing your customer support team to focus on complex work that computer software simply can’t perform.
Utility providers can automate various processes within their organization, from electronic communications with customers, smart metering and automated workflows.
4 - Offer a personalized service
Utility providers do not traditionally have any competition in their given markets, but that doesn’t mean your organization shouldn’t strive to improve the customer experience it offers.
In fact, customers are increasingly expecting the same level of service and personal engagement from their utility providers as they get from the likes of innovative companies such as Netflix and Amazon.
As a result, it’s essential that your organization offers a personalized service if it is to succeed in reducing friction.
Smart forms can help your utility gather important data and insights into your customer, which will then allow you to offer personalized web content and communications that are tailored to their specific needs.
Examples of personalized service is the use of customer-specific data to send customers updates on their usage or warnings of possible water leaks. This personalized service can help your customers make beneficial, cost-saving decisions that improve their overall lifestyle.
Want to learn more about reducing friction in your utility’s customer support strategy? Contact our team of experts today to find out how our unique platform can help.