In this Market View, customer engagement technology company Upland Rant & Rave reveals the importance of utilities being able to provide an emphatic customer service

Utilities could, and should, empower frontline staff so they can listen to customers and offer them an empathetic service.

Eighty per cent of customer decisions are driven by emotion. The trouble is, emotions are notoriously difficult to manage, control and even understand – even more so in adverse weather situations.

You can’t stop every frustration, but you can listen to what customers say. On its mission to provide excellent customer service, UK Power Networks implemented Upland Rant & Rave’s customer experience technology to capture a greater quantity and quality of insight.

The customer experience platform has not just given it the ability to capture real-time customer feedback, but also provides the company with a destination for its 300 agents to track customer satisfaction scores, call volumes, response rates and insight. As a result, managers have full visibility over customer sentiment.

This means staff have a true reflection of customer feedback on a dashboard in front of them when they’re taking calls. Workers can go into every call aware of customer concerns and ready to assist.

Acting on insights

During key moments, utilities need to make sure their frontline staff have the freedom to act with empathy and sensitivity. There’s no point collecting data if you’re not going to use it to solve a problem.

UKPN’s customers can be affected by weather-related power cuts. Knowing this, the organisation has worked hard to engage employees and empower staff.

For example, when a power cut disrupted a dinner party recently, a UKPN employee was able to go the extra mile for their customer, not just by keeping them updated on the status of their problem, but by helping them to find a takeaway in the meantime. Although this was only a small gesture, the customer was delighted – which shows just how much these little extras can mean.

Another employee went above and beyond by keeping the customer updated with the latest score when a power cut interrupted an important game of football they had been watching. Despite their initial anger, the customer was so impressed, they called back specifically just to thank the frontline agent. This just goes to show how much customers appreciate good service – they’ll even go out of their way to call it out, and this could be the difference between logging a complaint or not.

When an unexpected situation damages customer emotion, this isn’t something a company can control, particularly if its weather-related – but businesses can control how they respond.

Customer engagement technology company, Upland Rant & Rave


What to read next