This article was originally posted by Datamark.net on June 16, 2017.
With deregulation of markets in many areas across the U.S., competition is heating up for players in the utilities sector. Electricity, gas and water providers are competing on the basis of costs, eco-friendly production and customer service. Building efficient production and delivery systems and finding green energy sources are the core competencies of utilities. But customer care may be best when it is placed in the hands of a specialty provider. Here’s four reasons why it makes sense to turn this function over to an outsourcing partner:
Utility providers are experts in building electrical, gas and water infrastructure and delivering supplies to customers. But customer care may not be a core competency, and it can be costly to set up an in-house contact centre: You need to invest in facilities, telecommunication and network infrastructure, desks and cubicles, and computer stations. You need to establish HR recruiting and training teams, and a budget for salaries and benefits…and the list goes on.
It makes better sense to turn the customer care function over to a specialist provider who has already made the investment in facilities and infrastructure, and who can handle hiring and training of staff. Your costs become transactional and controlled by contractual agreements, which can make annual and long-term budgeting and planning easier. Good cost management, including transparency of cost factors is also helpful when the time comes to explain rate increase requests to regulators and customers.
Deregulation of the industry has opened the doors for more competitors. Electricity providers, for example, will battle for a big share of the market by establishing themselves as leaders in low rates, reliability, eco-friendliness and customer service.
Delivering reliable, efficient power through various means is a utility’s core competency, but customer care is often better left in the hands of an experienced specialist provider. Utilities should find a contact centre services provider that understands the industry and is prepared to handle account creation, billing inquiries, power outage reports and other issues 24 hours a day in a professional and friendly manner.