Utility Partners of America completed an enterprise-level upgrade of its call center systems and more than doubled its base of Customer Service Representatives to handle an influx of customer engagement and other marketing and enrollment service campaigns it is conducting for utilities across the country.
“Marketing, enrollment and customer engagement services are becoming increasingly relevant to utilities as more products and services require utility customers to opt in,” said Lee Schwartz, CEO of Utility Partners of America. “Our updated system helps our technical capabilities catch up to our 17 years of experience in this space.”
UPA, which is well-known for helping utilities install automated meters, AMI networks and load reduction equipment, has also been offering inbound and outbound utility-focused call center services for more than 17 years.
“Our call center services have always been a part of the work we do for utilities, from setting customer appointments for appliance warranty services and meter installations to taking inbound service requests,” said David Stodolak, Customer Care Manager, UPA. “But today, the need for marketing, enrollment and customer engagement services has grown to the point that we are able to offer these services separately. They can be managed alongside or completely apart from a traditional installation program.”
UPA helps utilities sell and manage regulated and deregulated products and services including home warranty service contracts, demand response programs and more. In many cases, UPA is managing multiple campaigns per client.
“We are extremely pleased with the results of our outbound calling project with UPA,” said Stephanie Cornett, Program Manager, East Kentucky Power Cooperative. “It has – by far – been the most successful marketing effort for our DLC program, to date. Since we began outbound calling, it has resulted in more than half of our new participation numbers.”
This level of service and complexity required a system that could handle the flood of data and appropriately manage the integration across platforms and between customer service and field representatives. The enterprise-level call center system features a fully customized, secure, dedicated VOIP system and dynamic dialer with redundant data systems hosted in separate facilities with redundant security to protect customer information.
The call center’s capabilities have grown rapidly and UPA has increased its call center employee base by more than 250 percent in the past 18 months and plans to at least double it again by the end of 2015. This hiring surge—all occurring locally—requires an expansion of the firm’s South Carolina-based physical plant which will occur in the next six to 12 months. The firm offers 24-hour live customer support for its utility clients as a value-added feature.