In the Environmental Ladder article “Smart Customer Service for a Smart Grid World,” the writer talks about how most call centers at utilities spend the majority of their customer interactions addressing basic questions about bills, transfers of service, payment plans, etc. But as the utilities’ technology advances such as in the use of the smart grid and real-time data and information shared by consumer and utility alike, things change.
With knowledge comes, power – right? Well the information provided to the consumer, and the choices that the information offers create questions from the educated consumer for the utility. If consumers are more educated on how to manage their power day-to-day, what their consumption is, how to modify power plans, then the more questions they can ask of the customer service representative. The consumer can request more changes; they can better challenge utility decisions.
You see, an educated customer can create work for the business. In the grand scheme of things, this is great. We want consumers educated, having more data upon which to evaluate a service or a supplier. But businesses must realize that more information means that the customer’s expectations will change, their demands will rise, their ability to compare competitive businesses increases.
So businesses need to ensure that their staff understand that the FAQs (frequently asked questions) of the past may no longer apply. And today’s questions may differ from tomorrow’s. Companies need to be more agile in understanding what customers are asking about over the past week and must have plans in place for quick training of staff or quick communications out to consumers to answer those ever-changing FAQs.
Increases in customer knowledge can create increases in complexity for the customer service staff.
Make sure your education and training of your customer service representatives is staying ahead of the education of your customers.
Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/
Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/