Customer service is a complicated aspect for any business. Historically, it has been especially complicated for those in the utility space. According to a Utility Digital Experience Study published by J.D. Power in 2018, part of the problem is that the industry has historically lagged behind others in terms of utilizing digital technology to the fullest. This fact once contributed to low customer satisfaction scores. A recent evolution among many utilities has led to the prioritization of improved customer experiences. Utilities have made it clear that they aren’t afraid of using technology to do it.
Still, maximizing the value of any software solution takes a concerted effort that starts with a comprehensive onboarding campaign. Here are our top five tips for getting the most out of software training for your customer service team.
1) Connect the dots
One of the first tasks in software training for customer service is explaining the benefits of the new platform. The reason utilities have transitioned to software is to either help customers, make the lives of their employees easier, or both, and that’s something that should be relayed to employees from the jump. Especially when mitigating the risk of employee resistance.
2) Train, train and train some more
The key to comfort is often found in repetition, and this also applies to software training programs for customer service. The more they get to actually use the system, the more comfortable they’ll feel. Having a demo environment available for employees to use is important. It’s actually giving employees the chance to make mistakes before the software goes live.
3) Run the team through real-life scenarios
As a leadership team, take the time to think of the 10 most likely customer service scenarios in which the software can be of assistance. Then, walk employees through how to use the new system to address those problems as a group. Finally, work with employees on an individual level to see how successful they are at completing these tasks in the test environment.
4) Ask for feedback
Software designed to run a certain way may not function as planned once the system is up and running. That’s why it’s so critical for utilities undergoing training and onboarding of new customer service software to solicit feedback from its employees. Those employees may very well be providing insights that could work in future rollouts.
5) Keep a clear line of communication open through onboarding
We’re all human, and customer service reps are bound to make an error at some point. No matter how thorough the training is. It is important however to make sure your employees feel supported and know where to turn when things like this happen. Instructions should include a dedicated contact and a catalog of frequently asked questions and how-to guidelines for the most commonly performed actions.
Utility Partners of America understands utilities
Utility Partners of America (UPA) has partnered with utilities and energy cooperatives for more than 20 years. We understand the importance of customer service. Our team uses the latest industry technology to help utilities better serve their customers. If you’d like to learn more about our offerings and discuss what we can do for your utility, contact us today.