Consumer Sciences and Retailing


Retail Management


The following reasearch project deals with utility call center readiness to address customer concerns and questions about the Smart Grid and smart meter technology. Since consumer engagement is important for the benefits of the Smart Grid to be realized, the readiness and ability of utilities to answer consumer questions is an important issue. Assessing the readiness of utility call centers to address pertinant customer concerns was accomplished by calling utility call centers with Smart Grid projects and asking 6 simple Smart Grid and smart meter questions. The hypothesis being tested for this reasearch is that only a minority of utility companies will have systematically prepared their call centers to answer consumer questions. Results showed that utility companies do not provide enough information through their call centers. There is a significant opportunity for utility call centers to better prepare and educate their customer service representatives and educate and engage utility consumers.