Katrina Chakraborty professional photo

Katrina Chakraborty

Director, Consulting Delivery

Several years ago, I came across a short parody video around the concept of what they called “single tasking” – the idea of only doing one thing at a time. Novel, right? Their video poked fun at the multitasking culture of today, the drive to always be doing more, and the endless distractions.

Multitasking reached a whole new level during the pandemic, with the lines between work and home life blurred. While we all faced this challenge individually, I also wondered how it was impacting the organizations we work with. And how could we help our customers eliminate distractions and allow them to “single task” on their customers?

Current state

Having worked for a utility company in a previous career, I’ve seen firsthand how disjointed technology landscapes can cause unnecessary multitasking and inefficiencies.

Let’s take “Call Center Charlie” as an example:

  • Charlie comes in to work at 7 a.m. to start his day at the utility’s customer call center
  • As he pours his coffee, his computer starts up and he watches the 20+ applications that he has set to autostart pop open on his multiple monitors
  • Charlie receives his first call from a customer about a discrepancy in his monthly billing
  • To reconcile the customer’s issue, Charlie must work through multiple systems and platforms to find account information and historical data to understand the problem and find a solution
  • Often this mean’s Charlie is simultaneously taking down information from the customer, copying that information into multiple systems and having to put the caller on hold

This current state can lead to data entry mistakes, long call times, and increased frustrations for both the employee and the customer on the other end of the phone.

How much more efficient would Charlie be if the information he needed could be accessed in one unified solution? How much happier would the customer be if they weren’t consistently put on hold? Utilities often build up complex IT landscapes over time or as a result of industry consolidation. While having a unified solution seems like an obvious answer, it is a challenge that many utilities and energy companies struggle with.

A path forward

At CGI, we have deep expertise in the energy and utilities industry and understand the obstacles that distract from maximizing the value of your IT investments. We’ve partnered with Salesforce to help our clients rethink their approach to IT solutioning and simplify their processes utilizing the Salesforce Energy & Utilities Cloud.

CGI’s Call Center Accelerator eliminates the distraction of multiple platforms and provides a single source platform that helps customer service representatives work more efficiently.

Call Center Charlie’s experience supporting a customer is completely transformed with the Energy & Utility Cloud and CGI’s Accelerator:

  • On a new and improved workday, Charlie comes in to work at 7 a.m. to start his day at the utility’s customer call center
  • He starts his computer which quickly loads the single platform needed to accomplish his daily tasks, all before he has even finished pouring his coffee
  • Charlie receives his first call from a customer who is struggling to pay an overdue balance
  • Utilizing the new platform, Charlie has access to a 360° view of the customer’s account history and current state
  • Using an easy guided process, Charlie determines that the customer qualifies for financial assistance and can immediately help them set up a payment plan for their remaining balance
  • The satisfied customer makes their first payment, prompting a notification to the utility operations manager that the balance has been updated in the organization’s billing system

The ideal state

A smart investment approach for utilities should take into consideration both customer and workforce satisfaction. A unified solution reduces risk and brings operational efficiency. An ideal state should deliver maximum value through:

  • Business efficiencies: Reduced call handle times, increased operational efficiency and reduced support costs
  • Reduced risk: Information stored in a singular platform that allows for easier integrations and data entry
  • Workforce satisfaction: Simplified processes allowing representatives to respond quickly to customer requests
  • Consumer retention: Proactive outreach and personalized service that helps increase customer loyalty

By investing in smarter solutioning upfront, organization can eliminate the distractions of the multi-platform programs that previously held up their call center representatives and delayed customer satisfaction.

CGI recently teamed with Salesforce to present more on the power of the Salesforce platform and Energy & Utilities Cloud at Dreamforce 2021 – you can watch the presentation here.

To learn more about CGI’s utility practice and our Intelligent Call Center powered by the Energy & Utility Cloud, visit us here.

About this author

Katrina Chakraborty professional photo

Katrina Chakraborty

Director, Consulting Delivery

Katrina Chakraborty is a Director, Consulting Delivery with CGI in the Digital Platforms Practice. With a background in the Energy and Utility industry and over a decade of experience in the Salesforce ecosystem, she has both a commercial and technical perspective that allows her to ...