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Counties Power rises up to the cloud

The move, a first for a New Zealand electricity distributor, highlights the company’s focus on delivering an enhanced customer experience to their rapidly increasing consumer base of 45,000.

The company is using Amazon Connect contact centre technology, a cloud solution which allows them to serve their customers with greater speed and flexibility. Their team can now work from anywhere with an internet connection, crucial in these times of lockdowns with distributed workforces.

Counties Power GM Strategy and Business Development Vivek Rajendran says the company’s rapid growth and dedication to optimising customer service has necessitated the change.

“We’re rapidly expanding in terms of customer numbers and complexity, as our region grows and our customer base increases with large-scale industrial, commercial customers and greenfield developments on an unprecedented scale. We need to serve our customers better, with greater speed, flexibility and scalability so we’re using cloud technology and artificial intelligence to do just that. Our customers tell us that they want faster, more reliable and more accurate service and communication and now we can deliver. This is a crucial step forward to be able to provide enhancements to our customers’ experience.”

“This investment highlights our commitment to our customer and in advanced technology and systems so we can offer seamless and high-quality interactions at all touchpoints. From our award-winning INDI fault identification, servicing and communications tool, to launching the industry’s first chatbot and our work in emerging technology, as a company we are committed to offering our customers a smarter energy future.”

The company is now focusing on personalising the customer experience by leveraging existing data, such as prior interactions, to allow customers to be seamlessly guided to the agent best placed to help them before the call is even answered. The solution uses natural language processing to provide sentiment analysis so the company can better understand their customers’ experience and their team’s performance. Future enhancements could include building conversational interfaces into any application using voice and text and placing customer calls based on customer history.

The contact centre team is already experiencing the benefits of the new technology with the rapid changes required in a Covid-19 environment. Altering call flows and messaging to react to operational change such as lockdowns or storms now take just 15 minutes, something that would have taken two days to work through previously.

The company was supported by Consegna to roll out the Amazon Web Services solution.

The company’s contact centre is based in Pukekohe, with additional back up from Call Care in Blenheim after hours and during times of high call volume, such as storms.

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