The energy sector invariably shows great growth potential and decides to implement call center solutions in its area. Their role is primarily efficiency dependent on the proper integration of all operating systems in the company.
Call center and the Energy Sector
Customer service in the energy sector is quite a challenge for call center outsourcing due to the complexity of integration processes in the systems that have been implemented in the company, including billing systems, document circulation (mainly concluded contracts and service delivery) or CRM. In order to gain a competitive advantage on the market, energy suppliers focus primarily on improving the quality of customer service in order to build and maintain a positive customer experience at every stage of contact with the company.
According to a report by Ernst & Young, the main reason for the loss of confidence in an energy supplier by consumers is the sudden increase in the prices of energy services – as many as 57% of customers consider it the main reason for dissatisfaction. Moreover, as the most important factors that determine them to change service providers, they point to complex and complicated tariffs, illegible basic rates and the lack of sufficient competence of consultants in the field of energy consulting. 31% of the respondents complained about too complicated tariffs, while 21% were left with an unresolved problem and a lack of support from the supplier. Especially in the energy sector, due to the specificity of the industry, customers expect quick and reliable contact with the service department. Experts emphasize
Contact with the customer service department is usually initiated by the customer in the event of breakdowns or disruptions in the delivery of services, complaints, errors on the invoice or power failure. Moreover, if necessary, consultants are able to answer all questions related to the economical and safe use of electricity. To optimize the work of the service department, companies introduce appropriate systems, thanks to which all information about customers is available without the need to repeatedly obtain the same data, e.g. history of their previous contact with the call center, settlements or technical data on measuring devices.
The Consumer and the Energy Sector – Communication
Consumer communication with the energy sector takes place primarily at the level of direct contact with the call center. However, more and more customers decide to contact electronically, i.e. via e-mail, a form on the supplier’s website or social media, whose potential, especially in the energy industry, is worth developing. What’s more, using social media, companies have the opportunity to inform their customers about planned power outages or possible outages in order to prevent customer dissatisfaction in good time.
Energy sector customers evaluate the quality of contact with the call center on the basis of the time in which their problem was resolved (most often at a critical moment caused by energy loss, a serious breakdown or an urgent invoice correction) and its effectiveness. This applies to both individual and business customers, but in particular, due to the scale, it applies to the former. An individual customer consciously chooses his supplier and with the same awareness is able to resign from the services of a specific company, determined by communication problems. On the other hand, a business client changes the energy supplier mainly to optimize costs. Providing a specific solution, reliable information and necessary support to consumers should become a priority for the energy sector in establishing a communication strategy.
The reporting data also shows that outsourcing call centers in the energy sector allows companies to save as much as 30% of costs related to customer support. Specialists agree that the use of call center services reduces operating expenses, optimizes investment outlays, enables employment monitoring and employee performance control, as well as influences flexibility in regulating operations within the company.
Role of a Call Center in Energy Sector
Contact with the service department in the energy sector is not limited only to responding to customer problems, but also serves as information. Those interested in a specific issue can find out more with a ton of choices. IVR (Interactive Voice Response) makes it possible to obtain information on tariff plans, changes in energy supply or regulations for connecting to the power grid. If the IVR does not meet the clients’ expectations, they are directed directly to the consultant in the service department.
Energy suppliers regularly improve the quality of communication and optimize systems in their customer service department to gain a competitive advantage in the market. The reduction of costs within the company related to call center outsourcing will allow consumers to offer an attractive price for the service and thus increase their competitiveness.