Service will reduce call center hold times


Chicago, IL, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — October 12, 2007 – The Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is establishing a new service that gives customers the option of hanging up and having ComEd call them back in the same amount of time they would have been placed on hold.

ComEd, one of the nation’s largest electric utilities with 5.4 million customers, operates two call center facilities in the Chicago area that respond to about 13 million calls a year. Most attempts to reach a customer service representative (CSR) are answered within 30 seconds. The utility’s call centers can handle 30,000 calls per hour as a result of voice response technology that allows customers to make simple transactions, such as reporting an outage or paying a bill, without having to talk to a CSR. For more complex inquiries, such as billing or credit issues that require the assistance of a CSR, this new feature will dramatically reduce hold times if a representative is not immediately available.

The new services offers callers the option to hang up and receive a return call in the same amount of time as if they stayed on hold, if there is an extended wait time to speak with a CSR.. The service also will be available for Spanish-speaking customers.

"We are always looking for ways to improve customer satisfaction," said Phyllis Batson, vice president of Customer Contact, ComEd. "We know our customers don’t like to be placed on hold for long periods of time. This technology upgrade gives them the freedom to do other things while they wait for a customer service representative to call them back."

ComEd says the technology will significantly reduce the number of times customers abandon phone calls because of hold times. The technology has received rave customer reviews in states where it recently has been introduced, including California, Nevada, Texas, and Wisconsin.