A Holiday Gift Guide for Your Utility Customer Service Manager

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Written by: Chirag Shah

As the end of the year draws near, the season of gift-giving begins. No matter which holiday you celebrate, someone’s always on your shopping list.

As utilities, the best thing you can give your customers is consistent, reliable service throughout the wintry months. Keeping the water and gas flowing and the lights on. Making sure the cooks are humming along and the house stays toasty. And keeping the phones and computers powered up so everyone can share their special holiday moments.

You work hard to keep your customers happy, with some help from a reliable utility CIS. But as the holidays approach, let’s not forget the one charged with making your customers even happier. Here’s some gift ideas for making the season bright for your customer service manager (CSM).

Relieving the stress a bit

Keeping customers happier can be a stressful job, under the best of circumstances. Though it may not be found on the list of hottest gift items for 2016, a stress ball is still one of the most useful and appreciated gifts on a manager’s desk.

Have fun with it! You can find stress balls in all colors and shapes. And don’t forget: your CSRs will appreciate them, too.

Getting the crew to work on time

How about a snow shovel, to make sure your customer service team can get out of their driveways and to the call center on time?

Okay, maybe that’s a bit self-serving. But a gift card to the local hardware store doesn’t have to be used on a new snow shovel or de-icer. And they can use a gift card to an outdoor supply store for gloves or scarves to wear to any event, not just to the office.

Caffeine always welcome

If one thing helps a call center work on all thrusters, it’s great tasting coffee! Consider upgrading to gourmet coffee, or installing new coffeemakers for your break rooms.

With holiday sales going on, you can provide your team coffees, teas, and even hot chocolates and ciders. Help the whole team warm up and keep moving—and keep your CSM smiling.

Why not a few upgrades to your utility CIS?

Your CSM and CSRs will appreciate these little tokens of appreciation. But how about improving the tools they work with every day? Cutting out tedious, manual tasks can make the whole team more efficient.

Here’s a few suggestions you won’t find in the local department store:

Upgrade your CIS—and your customers—to happier

What CSM wouldn’t be overjoyed to unwrap a shiny new cloud CIS? Our cloud-based VertexOne gives you—and your CSM—the latest in customer management solutions, without worrying about all the underlying technology.

Plus, its advanced capabilities let agents interact with customers however customers like, using multiple channels. And with speech analytics, they’ll know what a customer is really thinking, letting them guide and optimize each interaction. Your CSM will love the way customer satisfaction numbers improve.

Reduce your call volumes by empowering your customers

If replacing your utility CIS isn’t on the menu for this holiday season, don’t despair. Brighten your customer service manager’s day by dramatically reducing call volumes—and their associated costs. Just add VertexOne Web & Mobile Self-Service to your existing CIS.

This self-service web portal lets customers enroll themselves for automatic payments, budget billing, payment arrangements and more. Empowering customers to manage their accounts means fewer phone calls and lower costs.

Give and receive by making the most of every call

What if you could make your CSM a year-round hero to sales and marketing teams? You can, with the gift of VertexOne Predictive Analytics. Our customer-focused, data-driven analytics can provide insights to your customer service team, allowing them to engage customers with offers and programs of interest to them.

For example, our models can flag utility customers interested in conserving energy and natural resources. Armed with that knowledge about the caller, your CSR can offer the gift of paperless billing or enrollment in an energy-savings program. Your utility gets a gift, too. Your customers are happier, your marketing campaigns are more effective, and your dollars are better spent.

Upgrade your CIS, your customers and your CSM to happier

This holiday season, don’t forget the endless efforts put into keeping your customers happier. Give a gift that will put your CSM in a festive mode all year long.

Chirag is Director, Consulting and Analytics at Vertex, and brings over 17 years of hands-on experience using analytics and technology to drive business value for our customers. He brings deep insight in the areas of customer experience management, operational improvement and business/technology strategy alignment. Chirag has worked as a management consultant across a range of industries including utilities, property & casualty insurance, healthcare, and high tech, and also has a background in technology solutions delivery, pre-sales and marketing. Chirag has a Masters in Computer Engineering from Texas A&M University, Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from National Institute of Technology, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.

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