Case Study

Customer Case Study: Westar Energy

With a company-wide initiative to improve customer experience, Westar Energy wanted a customer care solution that would cut down on Customer Service Representative (CSR) handle times and improve self-service transactions. Westar worked with Interactions to implement an Intelligent Virtual Assistant that was suitable for a large utility company.

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The Problem

While Westar’s legacy, traditional IVR was getting the job done, it was managed in-house and run on little support. Because of this, analytics were slim and tedious to obtain, and there was no ability to listen to calls to understand why customers needed support. Without these crucial analytics, Westar was unable to detect, and therefore fix, issues with the technology.

Westar needed a solution that could better handle their volume of self-service customer inquiries, and provide better insight to the customer experience, so they could add functionalities and improve the solution moving forward.

The Solution

After looking at other cloud-based solutions, Westar decided they wanted something more intuitive than a typical, menu-driven IVR. They also were looking for a solution that would provide better analytics so they could figure out what their customers were trying to get done and why.

Interactions worked closely with Westar to implement an Intelligent Virtual Assistant. The Intelligent Virtual Assistant was capable of all typical IVR functions, and then some, including proactive outage messaging that gives customers an update on their outage as soon as they call. Westar was able to addfunctionalities that its legacy IVR was unable to complete, including updating email addresses and phone numbers which cut down on average CSR handle time.

Westar’s goal is to provide efficient self-service, even if that means transferring a call to a live agent. With their new solution from Interactions, Westar was able to include an option that allows its customers to go straight to a live agent when that option is preferred.

The Results

Focusing on self-service: 39% of callers are able to complete their transaction through self-service.

Increased customer satisfaction: According to recent customer survey results, more than 80% of callers are satisfied or very satisfied with the overall experience.

Improved JD Powers scores: Since implementation in 2016, Westar has seen an improvement in the following scores:

  • Ease of phone menu instructions: 28% increase
  • Ease of phone menu prompts: 25% increase
  • Prompt in speaking to representative: 31% increase
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    Better understanding: Interactions Intelligent Virtual Assistant has
    the ability to understand dual languages, reducing the need to rely
    solely on agents for translations.

    “With our new Intelligent Virtual Assistant, we have the flexibility and insight to analytics that we were missing before. Interactions worked closely with us from the start to ensure a successful implementation.”

    – Darcy Dale, Resource Manager, Westar Energy

    Westar Energy is the largest energy provider in Kansas with 2,400 employees and nearly 700,000 customers in much of east and east-central Kansas. Headquartered in Topeka, Kansas, their energy centers generate more than 7,000 megawatts of electricity, and operate and coordinate 35,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines. Westar’s mission is to provide safe, clean, and reliable electricity and superior customer care.

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