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Careers in Energy Week: Customer Service in Time of Need

Oct. 27, 2020
FirstEnergy highlights customer service for Careers in Energy Week.

FirstEnergy highlighted the customer service portion of its critical workforce during Careers in Energy Week. Whether it's billing, contact center support, quality assurance, or online support, more than 1000 customer service employees are engaged in meeting the various needs of customers from FirstEnergy's 10 electric utility companies in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, and New York.

While it varies day-to-day and team-by-team, customer service representatives in FirstEnergy's contact centers act as the first line of interaction with customers by taking a collective average of more than 30,000 inbound calls on a variety of issues each day.

With many customers worried about paying their bills because of the pandemic, FirstEnergy's representatives assist customers with manageable payment arrangements and provide them with information on needs-based assistance programs. The company claims to instill the essential qualities of empathy, active listening, and adaptability in its representatives to help customers who are experiencing financial difficulties.

This is something customer service representatives like Scott Kaczor say is one of the most rewarding aspects of the position. "You can always tell how grateful customers are when you're able to help them and make a difference in their life," he said.

While customer service representatives act as the face and voice of the company for customers they interact with, FirstEnergy's Quality Assurance Department reinforces these efforts by reviewing and providing feedback on interactions that involve customers and their accounts. These interactions include calls to the company's contact centers, online customer inquiries, field visits, and billing.

By reviewing these interactions, Quality Assurance can proactively identify opportunities for improvement in its training and processes to ensure customers are getting the best experience possible.

"Good customer service is about providing consistent and positive experiences," said Amanda Helinski, manager for customer service performance. "Quality’s job is to ensure customers get the quality of service that they expect." 

Quality Assurance has identified 240,000 COVID-19 related calls and thoroughly analyzed and provided feedback on about 5000 of those calls. This work helps FirstEnergy preemptively identify ways to improve how it is assisting customers impacted by the pandemic.

Those interested in applying as a customer service assistant may email resumes to [email protected].

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