Utility companies work hard to maintain a positive relationship with the residents they serve. This private utility had an outdated and overtaxed phone system, and as a result was unable to meet service level requirements for the customers who called in. We were brought in to design an intelligent solution that would manage call volumes more effectively, provide an expanded ability for self-service, and increase customer satisfaction.
We went straight to the utilityâ€™s contact centre associates to learn about the customer experience. Employees were engaged throughout the requirements phase, and the new interactive voice response (IVR) solution was based on their customer interactions, and our best practices. Employee engagement was a critical component to the success of the new system. By keeping the contact centre employees involved in the project, not only was system adoption more successful â€“ the people using it became advocates and promoters of the experience.
The new IVR drove efficiency within the contact centre by providing more service options for customers. The intelligent call routing design managed call distribution across 14 service centres and one centralised contact centre. From a routing control console, the company could now balance workloads and get customers connected to the right resource â€“ without the extended hold periods and manual transfers that made callers miserable. The new system made operations more dynamic, and better informed, too: automated outbound / callback programs could now be implemented, calls could be recorded, and real-time reporting was readily displayed throughout the contact centre.
Within one year, this company went from being ranked in the bottom quartile for customer service, to the top quartile. The new IVR menu is less than half as long as the old one; and self help went from five percent up to 45 percent through the use of our speech technology and best practices. For the first time, customers actually offered compliments about their experience. In addition to reacting more effectively, the utility also used their new technology to launch a proactive outreach program that keeps residents informed and engaged.