call center traffic and mass messaging

Tideland EMC reduced call center traffic during outages and severe weather conditions by 95% using TextPower’s SmartAlertsTM System

Case Study Subject: Tideland EMC

Business situation

During outages and severe weather conditions Tideland EMC was faced with an overwhelming amount of calls to/from its over 19,000 customers. If customers wanted to get regular updates regarding outages, the onus was on them to seek out the information by either calling Tideland or monitoring Internet and media outlets. If Tideland wanted to send a mass message out to its customers, it depended on the county’s reverse 911 system. In both the scenarios, the process took a long time and it wasn’t practical. They needed a low-overhead, cost-effective and high-speed way to communicate with their members and reduce call center traffic.

“We always knew the potential for text messaging. But we were surprised how quickly we had to use it. When selecting a text messaging vendor, flexibility is crucial in a utility environment

Solution

that changes as rapidly as the weather. TextPower is a service we can grow with as power requirements change to include peak alert notifications.

Heidi Smith, Tideland EMC’s Manager of Corporate Communications

TextPower provided Tideland with a solution based on its SmartAlertsTM product. This solution consisted of a browser-based-application, which Tideland operators can use with very minimal learning to send and receive Text Messages from its 19,000+ customers. For Example: Recently a trash truck took out a main line. As a result 1,693 members were without power. This happened at 6:45AM. By 7:07AM, a text message was sent out manually by a Tideland operator on the status of the outage to all affected members who opted-in to receive text messaging. TextPower’s SmartAlertsTM system is integrated with OMS systems like Milsoft. Tideland is looking at options to further reduce their overhead by sending text messages automatically to their customers not only for outage communications but for other purposes like peak notifications.

TextPower’s SmartAlertsTM system quickly became the de facto communication tool followed by social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Tideland started marketing the text messaging service to its customers urging them to opt-in to the program. Their message: “Don’t wait. Activate Text Messaging.”

Textpower inc.

TextPower provides text messaging (SMS) solutions for mission-critical applications ranging from immediate communications with customers/staff to high security authentication of users. Our SmartAlertsTM platform provides utilities with tools that allow them to:

✓ 2-way text notifications of outages from/to consumers

✓ Notify consumers to curtail load in real-time with “Beat The Peak” alerts

✓ Simplify crew call-outs with text so they get the message when they cannot answer a phone

  • ✓  Reduce costs and burden on call center or IVR when major outages occur
  • ✓  Improve collections with real-time disconnect notices via text
  • ✓  Integrate OMS and other systems with our MultiSpeakTM interface
  • ✓  Easily integrate text opt-in processes with your website using TextPower widgets

Highest Level of Customer Service

“Our customers love getting updates through text messaging. If we fail to communicate with them within 10 minutes of an outage, we get a text message from our clients asking why they haven’t gotten a text message and if there’s something wrong with their phone. It’s once again proven that the power of the written word provides more clarity. It’s not surprising how often we get a ‘Thank You’ back from our customers in reply to our informational or emergency text message.”

Heidi Smith, Tideland EMC’s Manager of Corporate Communications