Customer-service representative (CSRs) face numerous issues that can negatively affect consumer satisfaction including high call volume, time-sensitivity of response, and having the adequate resources and information to address customer problems. Consumer engagement (CE) solutions can help CSRs improve their response to these issues, but these solutions may negatively impact the cost-to-service ratio, which is the balance between costs of technology and level of service.
However, inadequate investments in customer service technology may result in decreased customer satisfaction, reduced ROI for the utility, and the duplication of IT resources. A new business case looks at ways in which a CE platform can increase customer self-service, improve customer satisfaction and lower call-center operating costs, resulting in a well-balanced cost-to-service ratio.
Inside the Business Case
The business case looks at the challenges facing a utility operating one of the largest call centers in the United States. Due to its large customer base of 6,000,000 customers and a process that needed to be streamlined, the utility was serving customers inefficiently. This resulted in low first-call resolution rates, and a high cost for serving customers.
It describes how implementation of a highly scalable CE platform alleviated pain points in the CSRs’ process for handling high-bill complaints. The platform’s portal ensured that the utility’s CSRs were seeing the exact same information as the customers for a seamless interaction. This took the guesswork out of serving the customers and enabled the CSRs to pinpoint customer issues and explain it real-time from the exact screen of the end user.
Why a CE Platform for CSRs?
Customers today now expect on-demand solutions. For example, when customers call utilities to report high charges on their bills, they may expect almost immediate resolutions to their problems. However, in most cases, customer complaints are not handled in the first call. The resolution process may take 3 or 4 more steps, and potentially several days.
This delay may damage customer satisfaction, and moreover, result in duplicated resources and incurred a greater cost to serve the customers. A strong CE Platform helps utilities better serve their customers and strengthen customer interactions.
Benefits of a strong platform for CSRs include:
- Decreased operating and IT costs
- Increased consumer engagement
- Enhanced program participation
- Improved customer-facing portals with 24/7 access
- Expanded CSR tools
The Aclara ACE platform provides many of these benefits, providing CSRs with better, more timely information. In the case of the utility in the business case, it helped the utility increase first call resolutions by nearly 30%.
To learn more about how Aclara ensured profitability and a solution that would prove to provide longevity read our business case.