An enhanced approach and survey capability is helping a utility turn customer feedback into a better service experience.

A key to successful service transformation

The utility initiated a multi-year customer experience transformation initiative through which it sought to improve customers’ interactions with its contact center, field services, and automated systems.

A key to successful transformation was the ability to use customer feedback to pinpoint critical process and customer service improvements. The utility collected such feedback through two approaches:
  • Quarterly surveys sent to 400 randomly chosen customers
  • Comment cards

While these tactics provided a significant volume of feedback, the utility did not have a well-established strategy for using the feedback to drive change within its organization.

For assistance with improving its ability to gather, understand, and turn customer feedback into a better service experience, the utility sought assistance from West Monroe Partners, which was supporting the broader transformation initiative. West Monroe Partners offered strong industry expertise combined with a distinctive
approach for fostering differentiated customer experience. This included substantial experience with voice-of-the-customer (VoC) programs.

Updated feedback capabilities
West Monroe Partners analyzed the utility’s past customer feedback, as well as the customer service channels from which it collected feedback and the processes the utility used to collect that input. The analysis identified several limitations in the utility’s current feedback mechanisms:

  • Customers who received surveys may or may not have had interaction with the utility during the previous quarter.
  • Survey results did not indicate the nature of the interaction for which a customer was providing feedback.
  • Quarterly surveys did not allow customers to provide input while an interaction was fresh in their minds.

Based on the analysis, West Monroe Partners helped the utility select a new customer insight vendor, Qualtrics, to deploy surveys and build dashboards based on West Monroe Partners’ design. A Qualtrics solution offered several advantages:

  • Ability to gather feedback across multiple types of interactions; e.g., IVR, customer service representatives, and web site
  • Ability to distribute surveys through multiple channels; e.g., mobile, e-mail, and pop-ups
  • Customized reporting dashboards that allowed easy analysis

Input at the point of service 

West Monroe Partners worked with the utility to define requirements for the solution and then implemented and integrated the client’s customer feedback and data systems with Qualtrics’ survey distribution system. 

To enhance the utility’s understanding of customer interactions, the new approach gathered feedback about six key touchpoints that analysis identified as the primary points of contact between the utility and its customers:

  • Customer payment portal
  • Public web site 
  • Interactive voice response (IVR) system
  • Meter field services appointments
  • Phone interaction with a customer service representative (CSR) 
  • Face-to-face interaction with a customer service representative in the utility’s lobby 

Using feedback to drive change 

To ensure successful adoption of the new survey approach and tool, West Monroe Partners also:

  • Developed the survey content 
  • Created an appealing and user-friendly interface for the surveys and the reporting dashboard
  • Designed distribution logic for sending surveys, including identification of which surveys to send and the frequency of distribution
  • Provided training to ensure that the utility’s VoC managers and staff understand the new program and, most importantly, how to use the feedback to identify critical service improvement opportunities 

As a result of this effort, the utility now has in place a key element for driving its customer experience transformation goals.

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