Doug Thompson, Director of Product Development
According to Google, 87 percent of people now have their phones by their sides at all times.[i] Despite many utilities recognizing the need to address ever-rising customer mobility with newer, more proactive communication strategies, they still fail to make it a priority.
In my recent article published in CS Week’s Spring edition of Newsline Magazine (Page 3), I explore the customer experience (CX) challenges today’s utilities face, and offer my take on how utilities can capitalize upon the “mobile shift” that has gradually seeped into the industry. Read More >
By Darren Thraen, Director of Sales, Utility
“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” the old saying goes. But how much weight does this cliché carry anymore? Did it ever? Technology continues evolving, our expectations keep climbing and the world spins faster… mostly because this quote was never founded in truth. Innovation shapes the world in which we live today. And it’s turning the traditional utility substation process on its head as we speak.
Read More >
By Chandler Harrison, Sales Executive, West Interactive
As technology evolves and changes the way we live our day to day lives, expectations for agile customer service are ever-rising. As a result, customers demand the same speed and personalization from your utility customer experience (CX) as that of their favorite retail company.
Cloud-based technology can provide the flexibility and data-informed insights that utilities need to get ahead of today’s fickle utility customer. Traditionally, utilities have been unable to rate-base associated costs in the same way they can when it comes to on-premises software. In a nutshell, utility leaders would rather (understandably) realize a regulated rate of return from capital expenditures on in-house technology, rather than invest in the cloud and miss out. But things are changing… and fast. Read More >
Surprises are best reserved for birthday parties and bouquets. When disaster strikes – like when the power cuts out – organizations can be sure their customers are actively seeking answers on the web, sending text messages and scouting out phone numbers to call. Failing to meet expectations during these time-sensitive situations means risking potentially irreversible damage — starting on social media and ending at the bottom line.
Read More >
As utility companies organize for storms, each has a set of procedures to go through in preparing to make the event pass quickly and safely. They go through their documented and well-rehearsed plan to make the event as easy on their customers as possible.
As a provider of communications services, we also have procedures that we go through for storm preparedness.
Read More >
As Hurricane Matthew tracked up the East Coast, West utility employees narrowly escaped Florida before the storm’s impact was felt. In the midst of the coastal devastation, it was impossible to ignore the amount of behind-the-scenes 24×7 work that our utility partners put into helping areas maintain and restore power.
When it comes to service restoration, a focus on critical services is always priority number one. These are West’s top three observations made before, during and after the storm. Read More >
Once appeased by the beep, whir, whizz of dial-up Internet, consumers’ patience is now tested by even the slightest lull in Web connectivity or a dropped call and companies in all industries are challenged to keep up.
Utility customers now expect customer service reps to act not only as problem-solvers, but as “trusted energy advisors.” According to J.D. Power and Associates, the top five elements contributing to these growing expectations are:
- Promptness in connecting with a representative
- Knowledge of representative
- Courtesy of representative
- Representative’s concern for customer’s needs
- Timely resolution of issue
Read More >
Despite the lowest monthly bills in 10 years, J.D. Power shows that the utility industry remains near the back of the pack in customer satisfaction when compared to industries like retail banking or auto insurance.[i] In a retail-driven customer experience (CX) landscape where even mailing complimentary flowers to customers isn’t unheard of, it’s not hard to see where some utility CX struggles stem from. Read More >
Picture this: you’re just getting home from a tasty meal at the pizza joint your friend has been pestering you to check out. The food was of high quality, the customer service was friendly and the entire experience came at a good value. Overall, you are a satisfied customer.
Unfortunately for the pizza shop, your satisfaction never materializes into loyalty. It was kind of a far drive, and honestly, you already have your go-to spot. Your split decision to likely never return is a prime example of the fact that customer satisfaction does not equal customer loyalty. Read More >
Dan Gordon, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Development at West tackles the most common customer experience shortcomings for brands in a recent guest blog for Loyalty360:
… While many enterprises within these sectors have established multiple channels for customer interaction, far fewer have taken the necessary step of ensuring cross-channel and cross-functional visibility. By failing to integrate platforms, applications, and services in a comprehensive communication ecosystem, these industries deny their customers a seamless experience and, instead, risk burdening them with redundancy…
Gordon highlights three big moves organizations can make to address this struggle:
- Evaluate where you are and where you want to be
- Identify gaps in communication between the two
- Prioritize next steps based on mutual value to the brand and customers
Click here to read the full article and dive into each step.