Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Is Improved Call Center Performance Solving a Problem or Just Treating a Symptom?

February 05, 2013

Last summer, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority contracted with Veolia Water North America to take over its management for one year. One aspect of the agency's business that has seen significant improvement has been customer service.

PWSA claims that the average wait time on a phone call has dropped 50 percent, from 8:45 to 4:45. This is far short of the agency's goal of two minutes, but is a significant improvement.

The percentage of customers hanging up while on hold has dropped from 17 percent to PWSA's goal of 7 percent.

The agency handles 10,000 to 13,000 calls per month for requests for service, complaints, permits, metering and billing, and provides service to 250,000 customers.

Improvement in the call center performance came largely from operating efficiencies. Customer service reps spend more of their time on calls and less on paperwork. A reprogrammed phone system routes calls more efficiently.

According to one customer, improvements in call center performance aren't enough.

"Before they didn't answer their telephone. Now they call you back. Who cares? Fix the problem," said Rocco DiDomenico, a real estate agency owner in the area who deals with flood problems on a regular basis.

One of the biggest complaints about utilities like PWSA is that they’re bureaucracies that often fail when it comes to customer service. Any changes that improve customer service would seem to be a good thing, and in the PWSA's defense, 'fixing the problem' takes funding that is not always available.

"If there's something we can do operationally right away, we'll do it," said PWSA interim director, Jim Good, "If not, we'll figure out what capital-related work we can do, and then we'll figure out how to fund it."

With some sewage lines in PWSA's service area approaching 100 years old, the agency faces challenges in making improvements if they do indeed have limited funding. PWSA improving customer service is the right step in solving one of a series of problems, but without fixing and preventing the problems that lead to the calls in the first place, they’re only treating symptoms and not the underlying cause. 




Edited by Braden Becker

Article comments powered by Disqus

Related Contact Center Solutions Articles

Rimhub Holdings, Inc. Acquires Systems Integration

Rimhub Holdings has announced that the company has acquired Systems Integration, Inc. (SII), a company that provides contact center and IT help desk infrastructure solutions to U.S. Government agencies and commercial enterprises. The company also provides contact center and help desk systems. [ Read More ]
07/29/2014

California Association of Realtors Enhances Responsiveness with Interactive Intelligence

In the contact center solutions community, we hear so much these days about improving the customer experience and doing so with the additional objective of reducing costs. Contact centers after all are the front lines of customer interactions. Being able to be more responsive is key, along with taking advantage of state-of-the-art communications to dramatically reduce operating expenses. [ Read More ]
07/29/2014

Logitech's USB headset H570e to Enhance the UC Experience

With workplaces constantly changing, there has been an accelerated demand for software and headsets; while the transition to a softphone is almost automatic, the search for a good affordable headset that's tuned to unified communications platforms isn't easy. However, Logitech has a new comfortable one lined up that might just suit their needs-the USB headset H570e. [ Read More ]
07/28/2014

Talk2Rep Partners with Lighthouse Works

Talk2Rep, Inc., a national business process outsourcing (BPO) provider based in Florida, has entered into a strategic partnership with Lighthouse Works. This partnership offers improved job opportunities for people who have poor visions. [ Read More ]
07/28/2014
Subscribe here for your FREE Contact
Center Solutions
enewslettter.

Events

Weekly Live Demo
Contact Center Solutions

Register Today!


Weekly Live Demo
CaaS Small Center

Register Today!