Future of Customer Service in Utilities Event

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Create better customer experiences with omnichannel engagement

On November 8th, we hosted a dedicated customer experience workshop examining the future of customer service within the Utility sector.

With speakers from some of our global vendors, including Serenova, Key IVR and Zendesk, the sessions were designed to examine the current trends in customer service, the key drivers behind the customer experience and how Utilities organisations could keep pace with the increasingly demanding omnichannel customer.

We were thrilled to have so many brilliant organisations in attendance. Despite challenging rail disruption, we were joined by customer experience professionals from across the utilities sector, all there to gain some insights into how they can deliver better, more cohesive experiences for their customers.

Beginning the sessions with her keynote presentation was Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service. Jo explored the most recent round of results from the UKCSI State of Customer Satisfaction report, delving into the numbers behind the UK’s customer service performance. With her engaging approach, Jo examined the challenges our attendees were facing in their organisations; and offered suggestions and practical insights into ways in which they could transform their customer service.

Supporting your customers and your agents

From there, we moved on to look at ways in which contact centre technology could support both customers and, vitally, agents. Jo’s presentation had highlighted the need to ensure customer service staff are competent and able to do what they say they will, and so it seemed serendipitous that the following exploration of Zendesk’s “one-window” interface presented ways to reduce stress and improve ease of use for agents.

Following a brief break for lunch, our attendees heard from Andy Eadle, Director of Customer Service at First Utility, and James Hewitt, Principal Technical Delivery Manager on the direction the business is looking to take following their recent acquisition by Shell. They delivered a compelling account of the ways in which the team at First Utility had worked with Unify to transform their customer service efforts and processes – culminating in a £2million operational saving and a significant reduction in average handle time (you can read the full case study on the solution implemented at First Utility here).

Survival of the fittest?

Continuing in the vein of transformation, our guests were treated to some hugely insightful slides on how digital transformation has moved from an advantage to being an act of survival. Richard Pinnington of Serenova examined the case for Contact Centre as a Service solutions, before delving into a brief history of the types of transformation previously enabled by software vendors. Introducing Serenova CxEngage, Richard continued to examine the ways utilities could organise their agent experience and author their own customer interactions within a singular application (CxEngage).

Often, the utility sector faces challenges when it comes to fraudulent transactions and chargebacks. The brief session from Key IVR covered ways that organisations could combat fraud and cyber attacks using unique URLs for recipients to click to pay, verification of identity within card not present transactions, and securing payment through the entry of a customer password.

Making conversations great

Naturally, none of this technology can be as effective if your contact strategy is failing you at the first hurdle. As the final session of the day, Fran Fish from communications experts Mazaru delivered a highly entertaining workshop on reducing customer contact, increasing sales and improving satisfaction.  Running through her list of the 7 killer, simple(ish) hacks to make conversations great, Fran offered actionable tips to transform the way utilities organisations speak to their customers.

We thoroughly enjoyed the event and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. If you’re interested in getting your own copy of the presenter slides, you can find them here.