InterWeave Releases Utility Call Center Benchmarking Study

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Kimberly King, president of InterWeave, a Tampa performance management consulting firm, has just released the 2008 benchmarking study of 105 utilities. Focused to helping companies WOW their customers, the purpose of this study was to assess how WOW the utility industry is. After randomly selecting a sample of investor owned, cooperatives, and municipalities, King attempted 5 calls into each utility call center to assess the level of customer service and efficiency. All calls were recorded and then evaluated against 23 behavioral criteria to identify how these utilities stacked up. “I was surprised by the results,” states King. “On a scale of 0 – 100%, the highest score was 60% with an average of only 46.1%.” This means that fewer than 11 of the standards were achieved on the average call. According to King’s research, 51.8% of the calls were answered with the company name, 9.2% of the representatives used a warm and friendly tone and 10.1% thanked her for calling.

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Listen for yourself and then determine whether you're WOWed.

What does this research tell us? "These behaviors drive critical customer perceptions. I was simply calling as a potential home buyer wanting average utility usage. But if I were an upset customer or someone who couldn't pay my bill, these behaviors would be even more important to me. If I don't feel respected or valued, I would potentially call back again, ask to speak with a supervisor or file a complaint with the Public Service Commission." All of these actions cost the utility money. As a company leader, executives have an obligation to identify strategies to be more cost effective. This study reveals a solid sampling of the opportunities that utilities have to be more efficient and more focused to customer satisfaction. The full study includes 83 pages of the research results. The real power behind this study is the 100 audio examples of the recorded calls. "Listen for yourself and then determine whether you're WOWed." For only $149, this complete study on CD-ROM can be purchased from InterWeave at

About InterWeave: Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, InterWeave provides training and consulting to utilities, as well as companies in the insurance, telecommunications, and financial services industries. Kimberly King speaks at conferences worldwide with the focus of creating WOW customer experiences.

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