We’re kicking off the new year with boisterous cheers of “Congratulations!” to Maiden’s Angel Ingram and Rose Edwards, the very first certified ElectriCities Customer Service Professionals!
While Angel and Rose are both experienced customer services reps—Angel with five years and Rose with about 20—they’re new to supporting an electric utility.
That makes a big difference, said Jessica White, Finance Director for the Town of Maiden, who supervises the Town’s CSRs.
“When you come into a public sector position—especially one that deals with utilities and the electric side—there’s no script or manual that says, ‘If someone calls in and says my bill is too high, tell them this,’ she said. “That’s because any number of things could cause a high bill.”
And that’s where ElectriCities’ Customer Service Professional Certificate Program helps. The program consists of four customer service classes and a 50-question exam.
Dale Odom, Manager of Retail Energy Services at ElectriCities, leads the classes, bringing expertise he’s gained from nearly 30 years in public power customer service.
“Jessica’s right. Knowledge of policies, rate schedules, and the electric industry doesn’t come naturally—that’s why we developed this training,” Dale said. “It prepares CSRs for handling crucial conversations that help form a positive relationship with your community, and the accompanying credential validates their knowledge, expertise, and dedication to supporting your utility customers.”
“I was able to get insight on a lot that I didn’t know about before,” Angel said. “Now I’m able to look at a customer’s bill and tell them why it’s high or low.” Angel said she’s more confident answering customers’ questions. The training even helped her realize that she knew more answers than she thought she did.
“Along with the techniques, tools, and tips attendees learn in class, one of the big benefits of this training is learning along with other CSRs,” Dale said. “Exchanging ideas, sharing what has worked and what hasn’t, and building off each other’s experience goes a long way to increasing a CSR’s confidence in all types of customer interactions.”
Rose said she found that aspect especially informative. “We were in class with some people from bigger towns, so it was beneficial seeing what they do compared to what we do.”
Jessica said she encourages everyone on her team to keep learning and to attend training when possible.
“The more knowledge you have, the more tools in your toolbox, the more confident you can be in your job,” she said. “I wouldn’t be a good manager if I didn’t want to see my staff succeed.”
Congratulations, Angel and Rose! And thanks for helping strengthen public power in Maiden and beyond.
For more information on customer service training and the ElectriCities Customer Service Professional Certificate Program, contact Dale Odom.