Posted on: 03-16-2011 at 4:24pm
By Stream Energy Senior Director of Communications Paul Thies
Today at Stream Energy, we launched a new initiative – members of the firm’s executive team, from Chairman Rob Snyder on down, are taking shifts in Customer Service, answering phone calls from our customers.
The reasons why we’re doing this are simple: 1) we want to interact with our customers, answer their questions and help them with their energy service, so we get direct feedback on their needs; 2) we want to demonstrate to our team mates in Customer Service that we appreciate them and the work they do day in and day out to take care of the people who have selected Stream Energy for their families’ energy needs.
The initiative is straightforward enough: over the course of the next several weeks, two members of the executive team will spend three hours on the phones on their assigned day. Each day, a new pair of executives will take a shift. To make sure that everything runs smoothly and that our customers receive optimal care, each executive is being paired with a Customer Service agent.
Today, our Senior Director of Human Resources Deanna Shelton and I had the privilege of taking the first shift.
To be totally honest, I was a little nervous but my agent partner, Veronica, made the whole process easy on me and was an immense help. For the first 30 minutes, she answered the calls and I listened in, and then it was my turn to talk to customers. It was a lot of fun – the customers were gracious, and the materials we had to work with were a big help. But most of all, I was fortunate to have Veronica who answered my questions and anchored the computer process (which quite frankly is a lot more involved than you may think). I can tell you that Veronica is a pro and did an outstanding job!
The part that I enjoyed the most about my shift was actually talking with the customers and getting to know them on a first-name basis (albeit briefly). The whole experience was very enlightening, and I give credit where credit is due – to Veronica (and the whole Customer Service gang).
I asked Deanna Shelton what she thought about her shift, and she told me, “My experience as a Customer Operations Agent went very well today due to the superpowers of my shift buddy, Andrea, who happens to be one of our best agents! For me, the experience validated what I’ve known for over five years now – our agents have the hardest job here, and thankfully we have folks like Andrea providing our customers with great service!”
I totally agree with Deanna’s assessment. It was great to understand what our customers experience when they call in for assistance, and it was also wonderful to walk in the shoes of our Customer Service Agents and better understand what their days are like. I’d gladly do it again.