Deregulation of the electricity and natural gas markets is making customer service a key competitive differentiator for energy providers today. Reliant Energy, a Houston-based energy services and energy delivery firm, has selected NCR Corporation and Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories to help them prepare for deregulation.
The two firms will be cale upon to implement an Internet-enabled "contact" center solution across its multiple customer service center sites. The solution is comprised of consulting services from NCR and a fully blended contact center solution from Genesys, which includes traditional voice or CTI capabilities and emerging Internet-based communications, such as email, chat and Web call back.
By analyzing customer data, Reliant Energy aims to offer better and more personalized services to its customers, while accommodating the customer's communication channel of choice - whether it is via web, e-mail, phone or fax. To do so, Reliant Energy will create one large virtual contact center by combining phone and Internet customer service and linking its existing call center sites using interaction management and routing software from Genesys.
"Companies, especially those in newly deregulated industries, must be customer-focused because that has become a fundamental part of doing business today," said Don Smith, Reliant Energy Director of Retail Services and Operations. "Businesses that develop a customer-centric strategy and then seek out the best technology partners to implement it will be the ones that succeed in the next millennium."
"Delivering true business value to our customers, partners, shareholders and stakeholders is a critical strategic component in meeting our corporate vision," added Smith. "We want to be the company people choose for non-regulated and regulated energy services. Reliant Energy believes our customer-centric call center operations are a key component of that strategy."
The Reliant Energy contract is the result of an NCR/Genesys alliance announced earlier this year. This alliance has allowed NCR and Genesys to bring contact center technologies and consulting to companies around the world, including Mercedes Benz in The Netherlands, Mobilkom of Austria, and Italy-based Fiat.
"The 'contact' center underscores NCR's strategy of helping businesses in industries like energy work seamlessly across multiple channels to attract, retain and increase the profitability of their customer base," said Jeff Jones, assistant vice president of marketing for NCR's National Accounts Solutions Group. "Together, NCR and Genesys deliver a solution that addresses the critical business need for improving the quality of customer service, while expanding the opportunities for companies to take advantage of every interaction with their customers."