A Tough Economy and an Emphasis on Better Service Have Pushed Utility Call Center Metrics to Record Levels, Chartwell Reports

Jan 13, 2010, 14:00 ET from Chartwell Inc.

ATLANTA, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Utility customer service representatives are spending more time on the phone with customers, and that is leading to increases in other metrics, including hold times and call-handle times, Chartwell finds in its latest report, Call Center Service Levels. Part of the reason for the increased talk time is a growing initiative utilities are undertaking in achieving first-call resolution as well as the complexity of the call types, including calls for bill payment assistance, Chartwell believes.

As utilities spend an average of more than three minutes on each call, metrics setting new industry highs in 2009 from previous Chartwell studies were average speed of answer, call handle time and average hold time. Chartwell has seen a steady increase in all three areas since 2002.

"As customers utilize self-service options via the Web or phone to complete simple tasks, more complicated requests are coming into the call centers," says Doris Yon, Chartwell's customer care research analyst. "Additionally, with more customers struggling to pay bills because of the downturn in the economy, utilities are dealing with more sensitive calls, which also require more attention. The efforts to resolve all requests in one contact, and reduce repeat calls, contribute to the increase in these metrics."

Call Center Service Levels reveals benchmarking data for the industry as a whole, as well as a breakdown among the different utility types. A data sheet, which reveals the individual call center metrics of all 108 utilities participating in the survey, complements the report.

Call Center Service Levels and accompanying data sheet are available to Chartwell Premier and Customer Care Series members as part of their membership. For information, contact Kristy Dickens at (404) 237-9099, Ext. 25 or (800) 432-5879; or visit www.chartwellinc.com or Chartwell’s EnergyLibrary at www.energylibrary.com.


Chartwell Inc. is a specialized information provider that facilitates knowledge exchange among utility professionals responsible for management practices and technology solutions. Chartwell publishes best practices case studies, quantitative research and electronic newsletters, and hosts conferences and other events for utility professionals.

SOURCE Chartwell Inc.