Stream Energy Unveils State-of-the-Art Customer Service System
Genesys Software Platform Supports “The Customer Experience” Initiative
01-01-2008 – Stream Energy, one of the fastest growing companies in America, has installed a software platform by Genesys, an Alcatel-Lucent company (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU), to create a state-of-the-art customer service system in order to keep pace with the company’s dynamic growth.
With the initial installation now complete, Stream Energy’s new approach to customer service will dramatically reduce hold times, eliminate the need for customers to repeat information after arriving at a live customer care representative and even let customers schedule a “call-back” at a convenient time. In the first month since the installation, overall talk times for Stream Energy agents have decreased by nearly 30%, 25% of customers have shown a preference for using the new self-service options, and almost 90% of customers using the call-back feature are finding it meets their needs.
At the heart of Stream’s customer service system is the Genesys Customer Interaction Management Platform. The modular nature of the platform allows every additional investment in Genesys software to integrate with the existing infrastructure and increase its value by adding new features. For example, Stream Energy is now using the Genesys Voice Platform to give customers 24/7 self-service access to their accounts, allowing them to perform simple tasks such as checking account balances, locating pay stations or making payments by issuing voice commands over the telephone.
“We simply weren’t satisfied with the time it was taking for us to handle customer inquiries,” said Greg Martin, Stream Energy Manager of Special Projects. “The installation of the Genesys software platform marks the completion of the first major step in ‘The Customer Experience’ campaign at Stream, and is the first of many customer-centric enhancements aimed at improving the interaction experience for our customers.”
“These technologies will improve customer service at Stream Energy by ending the frustration of long hold times, decreasing demand for agent time, and controlling costs by enabling Stream Energy to offer personalized customer service without adding new staff,” said Paul Segre, president and CEO, Genesys.
Licensed by the Texas Public Utilities Commission in 2005 as a Retail Electric Provider, Stream Energy serves nearly 300,000 customers. The phenomenal success of the firm and increase in customers made it nearly impossible to keep pace with the volume of customer service inquiries.
As part of the new system, Stream Energy is working with a Genesys partner, Nuance Communications, a provider of speech recognition software, to ensure callers are understood completely so requests can be handled quickly and efficiently.
The third important element of Stream Energy’s “The Customer Experience” campaign is Virtual Hold Technologies, another Genesys partner. Virtual Hold provides a software system that tracks callers who have waited on hold for a certain period of time and offers an opportunity for the customer to schedule a call back by a Stream representative at a time that is convenient for the customer.
Martin said the millions of dollars invested by Stream Energy in the Genesys platform, along with the speech recognition and virtual hold capabilities, represents just the start of a long-term commitment to providing cutting-edge communications for its customers. Plans for 2008 include implementing “skills-based” routing that will send callers directly to Stream Energy personnel who are specialists in the areas for which the customer requests assistance.
The company is also extending its interactive system to the Stream Energy Web site, where customers will be able to find answers to their questions and can even participate in live chat sessions about electrical service.
“Contact centers are increasingly focused on metrics such as ‘First Contact Resolution’ and technologies that increase personalization and choice to help improve overall customer satisfaction,” said Drew Kraus, Research Vice President, Gartner, Inc. “An interesting result of this is that customers not only compare their experiences with companies within a certain vertical market, but strong performance from a company in one business sector in turn raises expectations for all the companies that a customer deals with.”
“Stream Energy is making its largest capital investment in this system,” Martin said. “That’s how important it is for us to be able to serve our customers.”