How does your call center play into your brand strategy? Remember that, on average, call centers receive from 1.7 to 2.0 calls per customer base annually. So if you have 1 million customers, your call center is probably handling up to 2 million calls per year or more. Every one of those touchpoints is an opportunity to promote and enhance your brand and reinforce with your existing and prospective customers that your brand is the one they want to rely on for all of their energy needs.
A successful brand strategy will involve every utility employee, which means that every employee in the call center needs to fully understand your strategy. Training, ongoing coaching, and communications with employees will be necessary. Just telling them that you really want them to promote the company brand won’t cut it. You need to spell it out and provide the correct wording or script that you want communicated. Don’t assume your customer service reps (CSRs) will know how to correctly convey the message without guidance.
When I was a call center supervisor, I stressed to my CSRs the importance of every phone call. I explained that it might be the one and only chance to impress a customer with the service their utility provides, which can assist in retaining customers and obtaining new ones. And to make it personal, I further explained that “customers mean paychecks!”
One call center metric that will greatly help to promote your brand is first-contact resolution (FCR). Studies have shown that when a customer has to contact their utility more than once to resolve a problem, satisfaction begins to drop. We suggest utilities move away from the traditional metric of average handle time (AHT) and instead begin to promote and measure FCR. That’s not to say that AHT should be ignored, but it can be a secondary measurement. CSRs should be empowered to spend a little more time on a call to resolve customers’ issues in just one contact.
What other call center metrics do you use to help promote your utility’s brand?