Utility companies are trying to make the most from their mobile workforces by removing the inefficiencies that hinder service quality and customer satisfaction. Today there is a range of innovative, easy-to-use tools that can be used by mobile workers day in and day out. On the front end, the proliferation of smart phones has made a drastic difference in encouraging employees to leverage technology instead of the call center or dispatch center to get the job done. Behind the scenes, customer engagement solutions pull account data history and best practice documents out of the back office and into the field where it can be more useful. By equipping the mobile workforce with tools to better manage customer needs in the field in real-time, utility companies can maximize productivity and drive bottom line results.

The overall interest and adoption of technology in the field is driven by a desire to improve quality, customer satisfaction and productivity. Putting best practices knowledge and customer data into the hands of the mobile worker nearly eliminates the inefficiencies of internal communication that has plagued utility companies for decades. Resources that usually have been spent on staffing the call or dispatch center to answer questions from mobile workers can be redirected toward empowering them with the relevant job information and account details before they go to the field.

A good example of this is appointment notification automation. In many cases, utility companies operate call centers staffed by employees whose responsibility is to contact each individual field technician and provide them with the location and purpose of their next appointment. The cost of this approach is high. Call center agents have to initiate such calls, which is expensive, but additional costs are incurred if technicians are sent to scheduled appointments and the customer doesn't show up. Agents must then manually handle rescheduling and reroute the technician. Appointment notification solutions eliminate this type of resource drain on the call center. With such tools, utility companies can reach out to subscribers in a proactive, customer-friendly manner that improves efficiencies, significantly reduces costs associated with unnecessary truck rolls, and allows employees in the call center to be reassigned to higher value functions.

This is closely tied to the focus on customer satisfaction. Customers as a whole are no longer content with a "window" of availability when it comes to service calls. They want to know with as much certainty as possible when a company representative will arrive. Automated notifications enable day-of appointment and estimated time of arrival (ETA) calls to go a long way in providing customers with an exact time when the field technician will arrive at their home. Dynamic routing and monitoring capabilities help maximize each mobile worker's schedule and ensures he or she can get to the customer on time, as expected... READ FULL ARTICLE.

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