New Mexico’s PNM says improved customer experience resulted in drop in phone call volume

As New Mexico shifts to an emissions-free energy future, its utility, PNM is also shifting the way it interacts with customers.  The state’s largest energy provider serves 530,000 customers throughout New Mexico, which translates to a staggering amount of interactions between customers and the PNM Contact Center.

New communication methods are being implemented at PNM to make it easier for New Mexicans to do business with the energy company while improving the customer experience.

PNM took more than 650,000 calls in the Contact Center in 2019, and 55,000 calls just last month. Every call is answered locally by a PNM customer experience advisor in Albuquerque. Calls range from reporting power outages, taking scam reports, requesting payment extensions, scheduling connection transfers when moving to a new home, submitting self-readings of meters, bill questions, and more.

Recently implemented new improvements include predictive phone system calling that eliminates the need to speak with an advisor, online streetlight outage reporting, and options to chat with a PNM customer experience advisor using a desktop or a mobile device. 

The newest customer experience improvement is the ability to text PNM 24/7 from the mobile device connected to the PNM account for services such as retrieving account balances, requesting payment extensions, reporting power outages, and to receive outage status updates. The utility said that more than 1,000 customers in New Mexico have used this feature since it rolled out in the last month.

These improvements were determined through a research study and listening to customer feedback, said PNM. This allowed it to identify where its current processes and programs did not meet customer expectations. 

 Since implementing these new customer experience projects, the company has seen a drop in call volume as nearly 100,000 inquiries have been fielded through other company channels instead of over the phone.

PNM is continuing its research and welcomes feedback as customer experience improvements are made.

 “Every customer relies on electricity in their life, every customer receives a PNM bill, every customer makes a payment,” said Mario Cervantes, PNM customer experience director. “Being flawless at everything is not the benchmark but focusing on the moments that matter most to customers is critical. Everyone communicates differently and we have a responsibility to expand the way people do business with PNM in order to live up to evolving customer expectations.”

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Jennifer Runyon manages content on Renewable Energy World and POWERGRID International and also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH International. You can reach her at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com

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