Customer Service Experiences
With an every changing and growing industry, more pressures is placed on municipalities and utilities to improve customer service while still lowering costs. What is driving this need to grow and change? New competitors are now entering the market, customers expect improved, top-notch customer service experiences, and technologies are improving.
Unfortunately, improved customer service is not as simple as hiring more customer service agents. The high cost of such an act would lead to an increase in cost to the customer. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to improve the customer service experience.
Automated Inbound Systems
Technology has led to the use of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems. It seems anytime you contact any business anymore, whether it be the local movie theater, your internet provider, or even your doctor, you are greeted by an automated system and not a live person. These systems allow customers to receive specialized customer service care through an automated system, often avoiding the need to speak to a live agent.
When a caller contacts your customer support center, the IVR first prompts the caller for account information, often in the form of an account number or phone number. From there, the system uses a tree to determine what the caller is calling for. Based on the choices the caller makes, the system breaks down the area of concern until it can provide the requested information to the customer. If the reason for the call is complex or the caller does not find their questions answered, there is an option to connect to a live agent.
IVR systems allows customers to self-service. This leads to less inbound calls for live agents, shortening hold times and improving the customer experience. They also allow the customer to get answers to many questions through voice recognition even when your municipality or utility is closed.
System Wide Message
Another added benefit to IVR systems is the ability to reach a large number of customers with a standard message. If there is a known problem that might be driving callers to inquire, your IVR system can display a standard message at the beginning of a call to inform the callers you are aware of the problem and working on it. This can set a caller’s mind at ease to know that you are being proactive on the situation.