Connecting with our customers online
For decades, if customers wanted to communicate with Duke Energy, they picked up the phone. But, as the population becomes busier and more wired, our customers are finding other communication channels can work best for them.
They want to communicate on their timetable, using the platforms they feel comfortable with – like Twitter and Facebook.
In 2009, there was only one Duke Energy employee responsible for the two-way conversations on social media to handle service inquiries from customers.
Our team has grown over the years as customers have rapidly embraced social media as a way to communicate with us. During 2015 alone, the customer social media team handled more than 45,000 incoming messages. The most common questions dealt with reporting outages and billing issues.
But topics like tree trimming were also addressed. Customers also ran to social media when they felt they were not making progress in their attempts to communicate with the company through other channels. Many times, a problem in the morning was happily resolved by the afternoon.
Social media channels also allowed the company to push out important messages. We communicated widely on scams involving criminals posing as utility workers – stopping thieves claiming to have the ability to shut off power unless money was quickly wired to them.
The future looks positive with this type of customer engagement. Additional resources and extended hours of operation could make social media interactions with Duke Energy as common as picking up the telephone.