Marketing, Customer Experience and Communications Conference Live from Southern Gas Association 2017 !

by | Aug 11, 2017 | CSAT, Digital Customer Experience, Energy Cooperatives, Engagement, Member Service, Technology

This morning’s session on Contact Center and Operations features our very own Robert Judson, Executive Vice President of Customer Experience at HomeServe. Rob is presenting “Technology and Innovation: Solutions to Deliver a Best-in-Class Customer Experience”

Customer Experience is about more than just a contact center. It starts with a vision: at HomeServe, we want to be the first place people turn to for home emergencies and repairs. It is our mission to free customers from the worry and inconvenience of these repairs.

We want to put the customer at the heart of everything we do. And yes, we do mean it. But how do you turn that vision and mission into reality?

We start with our people. And we arm them with best-in-the-world technology.

Customer Experience Technology

Technology that allows our 24/7/365 personally staffed contact center identify the right contractor for the job, dispatching that contractor quickly. In real-time, that contractor lets the customers know they are on the way.

When the job is done, a real time survey ensures the customer is satisfied (did we mention that our customer satisfaction rating is over 98 %?).

Self-service features allow customers to book tune-ups online or use web-chat to quickly get the answers they need. It’s all part of our commitment to making the customer experience effortless, serving the customer via the channel they prefer.

Call-miner is another cutting-edge tool used by HomeServe that backs up these efforts with speech analytics – a technology that mines data from our contact center conversations – providing insights that allow for real time action when needed as well as ongoing trend analysis.

Putting the customer at the heart of everything we do means taking ownership of their emergency, and that means listening to the customer at every interaction. But listening is more than just a ranking exercise, it means asking the right questions. And once those questions are asked, figuring out what the answers are telling you. Enter Rant and Rave, a state of the art feedback machine, designed to gather survey responses from our customers and translate it into meaningful insights that drive business process.

Voice of the Customer

At HomeServe, we use this data to be the Voice of the Customer, as Rob Judson put it, because “we are all guardians of the customer experience.”

Let us show you how this works!

We will provide SGA conference attendees with a no-cost opportunity to take the pulse of their customers by providing access to this important technology. We will provide the utility with a link to use to send to their customer base and gather important feedback. We think it’s a good way to show that HomeServe can add real value to utilities. If you’re interested in taking advantage of this free survey offer, please Len Mize, Business Development, at or 484-241-7285.

So why leverage technology to innovate customer service delivery? Because consumer expectations are changing, and we must change with them.

Time for some questions!

What is HomeServe’s agent happiness rating? It’s a survey of our agents about how happy they are. This isn’t about how satisfied an employee is, this is about how happy they are to come to work. Ensuring we have happy employees allows us to deliver the best experience to our customer.

Next Up:

Ebony Roberts, Manager, Customer Care and Ops with Southern Company Gas, speaking to us about their Chat pilot, an extension of their social media team. The pilot began in May 2017 at the Riverdale contact center, serving the Chattanooga Gas LDC, and there are plans to expand.

The technology used is Avaya Elite Multi Channel, which is voice, email and chat compatible.

As of now, chat is offered to customers who use “my account” functionality. Customers can use chat to interact with Chattanooga Gas about payments, billing, autopay, budget plans, bill and payment history and profile updates.

The chat interaction flow is assisted by the use of auto-text to deliver standard messages, ensuring the customer experience is consistently delivered. A customer can connect to an agent via chat in 23 seconds with an average chat time of 6:45. The goal is to provide a consistent customer experience across all service delivery channels.

Feedback from attendees suggested it’s important to focus on one or maybe two chats at a time to ensure a quality experience. Selecting agents for this effort is also key, agents who can roll back and forth between chat and other contact interactions have a different skill set. Southern Company Gas worked with their training group to develop an assessment to help identify agents who were best suited for this type of work. Agents would respond to mock chat conversations live as part of the assessment, providing insights into how well the agent responds in writing and their depth of knowledge of “my account” functionality.

Social media engagement is also a part of this plan! With over 25,000 followers, portfolio-wide they are reaching an audience of over 850,000 with content.

A positive impact of growth in these channels helps with a utilities’ employee retention, allowing for career-pathing and different work environments that builds excitement in the call center.

Speaking of Chatting…

A great dialogue about speech analytics and predictive analytics followed the presentations. For some, speech analytics showed that about 30% of their call time is silence. Rob Judson offered that HomeServe has been to get call silence is down to single digits by utilizing the technology to help identify training and coaching opportunities.

Predictive analyticspresents intelligence about the call to agents in real time based on speech, IVR selection and knowledge about the customer in the CIS system. This includes a high bill or recent outage. The technology helps deliver an excellent customer experience.

Finally, the attendees discussed the importance of ensuring agents are involved in the entire process, inviting them to participate in focus groups for example. Employee buy-in is encouraged, helping ensure the success of these new technologies to meet the actual goal of improving the customer experience.

A great session with tremendous feedback from the group!

Learn more about how a HomeServe partnership can complement your customer engagement efforts! Contact Len Mize, Senior Director Business Development for Energy and Utilities, at or 484-241-7285.

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