Today’s deregulated energy market customers are demanding exceptional customer service now more than ever before.  Because deregulated states offer the consumer so many competitive choices, customers are demanding greater customer service when making payments, understanding their bill and general inquiries into the call center.

With costs per acquisition (CPA) rising in some saturated deregulated markets, energy marketers can ill afford shrinkage due to poor customer experiences.  Here’s a quick tip list to ensure the voice of the customer is being heard and the right infrastructure is in place:

Major Components for Obtaining Excellent Customer Support in a Competitive Deregulated Market

  1. FCR (First Call Resolution) having a well trained call center support group focused on FCR can help reduce customer churn by as much as 18%.
  2. CRM  ( Customer Relationship Management) a customer relationship management system should be in place and all customer activity and data should be archived and easily retrievable to provide the customer with the confidence that a utility switch was in their best interests.
  3. Call Recording and Storage (CRCS) creates an advantage to reduce complaints and greater responsiveness to PUC (Public Utility Commission).
  4. Welcome calls, while an initial cost, contacting a new customer to welcome them can reduce customer churn, in addition it’s a great time to ask for customer referrals.
  5. Beyond telemarketing, brokers and door to door selling, energy marketers need to move into newer forms of customer engagement and management including social media deployments with Facebook, Twitter and adding website live chat for cost efficient customer interaction.
  6. Managing NPS (NET PROMOTER) and CSATS (Customer Satisfaction) while an energy marketer may feel like measuring satisfaction is an expense but it adds to the long term value of a customer relationship.
  7. IVR (Interactive Voice Response) should be simple with accurate routing for customer ease.
  8. An online Knowledge Base can help customers self serve and provide call center agents reference tools to help answer customer inquiries.

After the customer acquisition is made, it’s always about service and the experience.  If the voice of the customer is not heard or the experience is poor, an energy marketer will realize churn and a poor reputation in the market.