As a decision-maker for your utility organization, you recognize the importance of customer engagement. But is your utility effectively gathering and analyzing data in this critical area?
Like any other key area of operations, customer engagement should be tracked in order to generate actionable data.
Using software solutions that seamlessly connect your customers with your services, it’s easy to record, measure, and act on customer engagement data.
In the sections below, we’ll discuss the importance of customer engagement and cover five engagement metrics that are worth monitoring.
The Importance of Customer Engagement Metrics for Utilities
Customer engagement is the relationship-building process between a company and its customers through a series of positive, constructive interactions. Engagement occurs in areas like sales, marketing, customer support, technical support, and service delivery.
High customer engagement leads to increased customer loyalty and satisfaction. When a customer has experienced consistently positive interactions with a company, they feel valued and develop trust that future concerns will be handled promptly and effectively.
For utilities, engagement is increasingly occurring through digital channels. Customer service portals, apps, and other digital tools make it easier for customers to engage in self-service and to communicate with providers using preferred channels.
The five metrics below are reflective of the shift towards a customer-centric utility model that emphasizes personalized services and streamlined communications.
1. Calls Rising or Declining Over Time
Compared to digital engagements such as messaging and chat, voice calls place a major demand on a utility’s customer service resources. Calls require the undivided attention of customer service representatives (CSRs) and present risks of miscommunication or friction. Voice calls are also more difficult to record as data points, compared to written communications.
To allocate resources efficiently, these two call metrics should be tracked:
- Call quantity
- Average length of calls
If call volume is decreasing, this may indicate that your utility’s digital communication options are successfully shifting customer behaviors. Software systems like the SilverBlaze Customer Portal offer convenient engagement options that make calls less necessary. This leads to communications that are easier and clearer for both customers and CSRs.
2. Average Resolution Time
Average resolution time (ART) measures the average time that a customer support team takes to close a customer ticket. In the utility industry, ART is a particularly important metric and a strong predictor of customer satisfaction. Because customers rely on utilities for essential services, every ticket represents a potentially urgent concern.
The better a utility’s customer engagement software, the easier it is to maintain short ARTs. Effective digital engagement tools speed up customer support interactions by streamlining communications and offering helpful self-service features.
3. Platform Adoption Rates
After rolling out a new customer engagement platform, it’s important to monitor the rate at which customers create accounts and begin using certain features. Monitoring adoption involves setting initial goals and calculating the percent of the total customer base that has started using the platform after time intervals such as one month and one year.
The rapid adoption of preferred platforms and features helps utilities quickly conclude transition periods and makes it easier to phase out old systems. To help facilitate this process, it’s important to communicate the new platform’s benefits and make switching easy and convenient. Methods for encouraging adoption include prominent web links and QR codes in physical communications that lead to account creation pages.
4. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
A customer satisfaction score (CSAT) indicates how happy customers are with a company’s goods or services. A CSAT score is obtained through a simple survey question that asks customers to rate their overall satisfaction on this five-point scale:
- 1: Very unsatisfied
- 2: Unsatisfied
- 3. Neutral
- 4. Satisfied
- 5. Very satisfied
To calculate a CSAT score, the number of “satisfied” and “very satisfied” responses are combined, divided by the total number of responses, and multiplied by 100. The resulting score represents the percentage of satisfied customers.
For a utility, a CSAT score is a clear and simple gauge of customer sentiment. While the industry average CSAT score for utilities is around 70, the most useful CSAT metric is a company’s own current score compared to previous years.
CSAT responses are often acquired immediately following customer service interactions. Thus, providing a smooth, helpful digital customer service platform is a good way to improve CSAT scores.
5. Self-Service Usage Rate
More utilities are embracing self-service options to help customers manage their accounts. Effective self-service is a win-win for utilities and customers, reducing the need for time-consuming CSR interactions. Thus, the self-service usage rates of various features are helpful metrics to monitor.
When self-service options are intuitive and helpful, customers use them. Tools like SilverBlaze’s Smart Forms maximize self-service to cut down on redundant communications and wait times, resulting in improved customer engagement and satisfaction.
Boost Customer Engagement for Your Utility
At SilverBlaze, we equip utilities with software solutions that streamline operations, simplify customer service, and boost engagement. To learn more, request a product demonstration today.