How Can the Energy and Utility Industry Better Respond to the COVID-19 Crisis?

Utility IndustryWhile the Energy and Utility (E&U) companies generally have robust contingency plans to brace the impact of natural disasters, the COVID-19 pandemic brought several challenges they were not prepared for. With the demand dwindling owing to reduced consumption among the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) segment of customers, the E&U companies are experiencing reduced revenues.

Since there is no clarity on when things will normalize, the Energy and Utility companies working on combating the COVID-19 challenges, such as:

Minimal Staffing: Companies today are operating with minimum staffing due to absenteeism, social distancing norms, and government regulations. Businesses today have to function without up to 40% of their employees. As a result, utility companies are struggling to meet business and customer needs. The customer support service, too, is suffering.

Affect the Bottom Line: Due to the crisis, there is likely to be a significant drop in demand from the commercial and industrial segment of customers, resulting in a decline in revenues for the utility industry. There will be a substantial rise in residential consumption due to stay at home orders. However, this could potentially create non-payment and late payment issues, resulting in pressures on the bottom line and increased debts.

Poor Customer Experience: As utility companies operate with reduced staffing and residential consumption increases, it can lead to customer dissatisfaction. Customer queries regarding payment and billing will increase, and without a proper response, customers are likely to take their frustration on social media.

However, with the right outsourcing partner, the utility companies can counter the effect of these challenges. Here are a few measures they can take:

Hire the right outsourcing partner to boost their digital contact center operations: Utility companies can hire an outsourcing partner to augment their digital contact center operations to improve customer interactions round the clock. A multichannel contact center partner can provide them with the right customer support through voice, email, chat, and social media.

Increase Self-Service Content: With an analytics-led Website content curation, you can encourage customers to opt for self-service. If your customers get self-service content readily available on your website, they will not call your customer care number. As a result, it will be possible for you to deliver better customer satisfaction.

Offer Digital Payment Options: Offering digital payment options such as UPI, bank transfer, or e-wallets, and enabling top-up payments via IVR or web chat can boost customer experience significantly.

Digitally Educating Customers: Using digital channels, utility companies can educate their customers on ways to reduce their bills. They can ask their contact center outsourcing partners to do email blasts and social media messaging to disseminate the knowledge to their customers.

How Can Ameridial Help?

As a multichannel call center service provider, Ameridial can offer utility companies the right support during the troubled time. With a large pool of 500 remote agents, Ameridial can provide the proper support to your customers via a variety of channels, offer analytics-led insights for informed decision-making, and help you educate your customers digitally, and ensure the improved customer experience. Our Work-at-Home Solutions can support your business continuity plan to a tee and help you smoothly run your business operations.

To know more about how our service offerings can help you run your business operations smoothly, contact us today.