Good customer service goes a long way to ensuring happy customers, and an important part of that is making sure that your utility service is able to address and answer customer concerns quickly and accurately.
Customer service metrics – such as average handle time (AHT), first contact resolution, average wait time and time to resolution – are all important indicators of how your customer service team is performing. The better their performance, the more satisfied your customers will be of course.
The more you reduce utility customer wait times, the more frictionless an experience your customer will receive. Moreover, the better you answer customer queries, the happier your customers will be with your utility brand.
But, not only does fast issue resolution benefit customer satisfaction, it also provides significant internal advantages for your utility. By operating more efficiently, effectively, seamlessly and immediate your utility’s customer service team is now able to reduce costs and allocate available resources for high-value tasks instead of tedious, low-level work (essential nonetheless).
With that in mind, we’ve created a list of three effective ways in which your customer service team can significantly reduce wait times and enhance the overall customer experience:
#1 – Customer Web Portal
One of the most effective ways to reduce customer wait times and more effectively resolve issue queries is to put the power back into the hands of your customer. That involves building a world-class customer experience across all channels.
One effective way to do this is to implement a customer portal solution. A customer portal for utilities allows utility customers to manage their entire utility account all in one centralized location, from the palm of their hand.
Accessed through a website or mobile application, utility customers can log into their utility account to update account information, make payments, monitor transactions, receive outage notifications, manage their utility usage, submit service requests and so much more.
It simply offers an easy and frictionless way for your utility to access, and change, the information they want – without having to phone in to your customer service team. This self-servicing function of a utility customer portal significantly improves the customer experience and enhances your own internal efficiencies.
#2 – Directing Customer Queries
An important component of answering customer queries in a fast, efficient manner is to ensure those questions are directed to the right person, or department, who can answer them with speed and accuracy. That’s why it’s so important to improve how you direct your customer queries throughout your team/organization.
Ensure your customer service team has the tools required to automatically route quests and information to the right people within your organization. One example of this would be the Smart Forms and Workflow software offered here at SilverBlaze.
Through the use of intelligent forms (that can be accessed 24/7), which automatically routes requests to the right people/department within your utility, Smart Forms and workflow software improves staff productivity, reduces the strain on your customer service team and significantly improves the customer experience without needing the use of human approval or interference.
#3 – Employee Training
To resolve customer queries the first time they reach out to you, you need to learn from previous experiences, as with most things in life. Customers who have repeatedly contacted you to resolve the same issue represent an excellent opportunity to learn and adapt.
Analyze customer service contacts that require multiple contacts. Once you analyze what went wrong with these queries you can begin to find trends. You can then use these insights to adjust your customer service representative training, and change your strategy to address any issue. The customer service department should provide its employees with training or a form of best-practise standards to apply to certain repeated queries.
Interested in learning more about how your utility can speed up issue resolution, and how a customer portal for utilities can help? Get a demo of the award-winning SilverBlaze solution today.