We define the “Customer Experience” as the sum of all interactions that a customer has during their relationship with FirstEnergy. We are committed to meeting our customers’ expectations for premier service and are focused on providing them with an effortless, transparent and consistent experience. As part of that effort, we are continuously working to modernize our customer service capabilities, create more self-service options and enable multiple communications channels to serve and engage with our customers.
We’re also committed to providing the support and resources our customers need. Our customer assistance and support programs provide personalized solutions to help customers keep the lights on and access energy-saving opportunities.
To monitor our customers’ experience and drive continuous improvement in our service to them, we track key metrics such as First Contact Resolution (FCR), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Customer Effort Score (CES) and Escalent/Cogent Engaged Customer Relationship (ECR) Index through customer surveys. Between 2018 and 2021, scores for Customer Satisfaction, First Contact Resolution and Customer Effort increased by approximately 2% to 3% due to our continuous efforts to improve and provide a best-in-class customer experience.
Please see our ESG data table for our customer service metrics.
Our customers’ interactions with us should be effortless. As we become more customer-centric, we’re taking concrete steps to deliver what customers want.
Our ongoing initiative, Customer 360, gives us a complete and accurate picture of our customers’ experiences by aggregating data from their numerous touchpoints with us. This creates a better, more comprehensive understanding of our customers’ perspectives, which helps us drive continuous improvement in various areas of their journey. Key resulting initiatives will enable frontline agents to know customers’ preferences and history to better address current needs — and proactively offer services or notifications to address potential future needs. Importantly, this dynamic reduces customer effort and helps us avoid lengthy service calls by carrying over key details and requests from past customer interactions — regardless of the channel or mode of those interactions.
In addition to understanding our customers’ perspective, we are also focused on equipping our employees with the tools they need to effectively serve our customers. We’re creating a centralized customer service management system that will aggregate information from a customer’s interactions across the company. This would create seamless access to all customer information and provide employees with real-time, actionable insights to help them meet our customers’ expectations and resolve issues quickly.
To meet our customers’ expectations and accommodate their diverse needs, we employ multiple communication channels. Customers may use our Natural Language Interactive Voice Response System (IVR) to complete a specific transaction or obtain information. Or they may prefer to use one of our other communication channels, including our website, social media pages, voice channel or proactive text/email alerts.
We offer a suite of convenient tools, including alert notifications, text messaging service and our responsive website, to help customers stay connected and up to date with important account and outage information. Because we understand the inconvenience of a power outage, we also offer a streamlined outage reporting process on the website and comprehensive 24/7 Power Center outage maps, which show current outage locations, estimated restoration times, the cause of outages and the status of the repair crews.
Our goal is to enhance our customers’ experience by providing full visibility and consistency across all channels, by engaging more innovative and accessible ways for customers to obtain information and by anticipating their needs to proactively provide them information.
Social media has become a key platform for sharing information with stakeholders and assisting customers with service requests and other account-related concerns. FirstEnergy manages accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Flickr.
Posts shared across FirstEnergy social media channels provide customers with:
Social media is especially useful when a major weather event is forecast. We share information from our in-house meteorologists and operations teams to help customers prepare for a potential outage, as well as remind customers how to report outages and get status updates. Once a storm has passed, we use social media to keep customers informed with restoration updates and photos of damage from the field. We also regularly share safety reminders, such as what to do about downed power lines and how to use generators safely.
To provide a helpful, personalized and efficient experience for customers and other stakeholders who reach out to us on Facebook and Twitter, representatives from Communications and Customer Self-Service collaborate each day to answer questions and address concerns on social media. The team is available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with expanded hours during major weather events.
We strive to meet the needs of our diverse customer base and provide equitable solutions for everyone we serve.
As part of that effort, we offer payment assistance and emergency support programs to help customers facing financial hardships. Programs can help customers budget monthly payments, pay winter heating bills, catch up on past-due payments and avoid service disconnections. To view the different assistance programs available to customers in each part of our service territory, please visit our website here.
FFirstEnergy also offers programs for income-qualified residential customers to reduce energy usage or offset the costs of energy improvements. These programs often work in conjunction with other utilities or local, state or federal funds and programs to maximize customer benefits. The slate of programs can be accessed here.
Many of our customers experienced unprecedented financial challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. For information on our customer assistance and support efforts during the pandemic, visit Our COVID-19 Response page.