Effective leaders understand that the best people to solve a problem are often the ones who deal with it every day. Customer service staff know their customers and understand the issues. Given the opportunity, they can also find the solution – often at little cost and great benefit.
“Employee-driven innovations can offer solutions that enable productivity, engender satisfaction and make it easier for employees to satisfy customer needs,” explains Robert Spagnuolo, ENWIN’s Director of Customer Service.
Robert decided to take advantage of some un-tapped expertise by encouraging his employees to enlist for ENNOVATION – the utility’s grass roots think-tank that teaches design thinking and innovation.
Customer Care and Billing Supervisor Laura Johnston had a burning customer service issue and didn’t waste any time before signing up.
“I knew we could alleviate the pain.”
“I had overheard a customer care representative playing phone tag with other departments to try to find answers to a simple question. After several calls, she faced an angry, frustrated customer who had been kept waiting too long,” explained Laura Johnston, ENWIN’s Customer Care and Billing Supervisor. “I knew we could alleviate the pain, if we could put accurate information at her fingertips.”
Laura joined forces with Jeff St. Louis, also a Supervisor in Customer Care and Billing, to explore the idea of lowering call volumes by empowering employees to resolve customer requests in real time. But, without the budget to outsource the project, how could Jeff and Laura provide their staff with instant access to information?
“We needed a no-cost, easy-to-use solution that would empower our representatives to provide a seamless response in one contact,” explained Jeff, who managed the customer service implementation. “That’s a tall order for any company.”
They found the answer through ENNOVATION. As is often the case at the think-tank, researching and presenting their own issues revealed similar challenges experienced by other departments across the company.
Read the winter issue of The Distributor magazine (page 14) to read the full article on ENWIN Utilities information-on-call.