Jul 6, 2010
For the first time, more PPL Electric Utilities customers are using self service options on the utility's web site and the customer care center's interactive system, rather than speaking with a customer service representative. The increase in consumer acceptance for the web and automated call systems continues an upward trend toward self service options during the past two years.
PPL Electric Utilities customers can get an updated account balance, make a payment, or report a power outage using the company's interactive voice response, or IVR, system. And, nearly 400,000 transactions were handled this way during the first five months of 2010, up 34 percent over the past two years.
At www.pplelectric.com, the utility's customers have even more self-service options available anytime every day. More than 630,000 service transactions were handled on the web during January through May this year - up 16 percent from last year and 29 percent over 2008.
On the web, customers can start or stop service, view billing information, enroll in various bill payment plans, and make arrangements to pay the monthly bill. Additionally, PPL customers can view their hourly, daily or monthly electric usage patterns, analyze their usage, and get tips to reduce their utility costs. Once customers register their "my PPL" account, they can report a power outage and get updated outage information on the Web, too.
The activity level in PPL Electric Utilities' customer contact center remains quite busy, handling the more complex consumer issues. Customer service representatives, or CSRs, handled more than 2.1 million contacts with customers in 2009 and more than 975,000 contacts during the first five months of this year. With rate changes and electric choice, many consumers still want to speak with a CSR, and the care center has staff available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
"In today's society, we understand consumers are looking for convenience and want to do business on their schedules. We're pleased there's been steady growth in usage of our web site, and we'll keep working to ensure it is consumer friendly and meets the needs of our customers," said Robert M. Geneczko, PPL Electric Utilities vice president, Customer Service.
While technology is helping the company serve customers better, some customers prefer sending a letter occasionally, too. PPL Electric Utilities said more than 31,000 pieces of correspondence - letters, faxes and e-mails - also were received through May of this year.
PPL Electric's web site features an energy library of helpful articles for consumers, an energy calculator to understand how much electricity different appliances consume, an online store for discounted energy-related products, the E-Power suite of energy efficiency tips, rebates and incentives, as well as safety information for parents, teachers and children.
A subsidiary of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL), based in Allentown, Pa., PPL Electric Utilities is an electric delivery company serving 1.4 million customers in 29 counties across central and eastern Pennsylvania. PPL Electric Utilities is recognized for exceptional customer service with 16 J.D. Power & Associates awards for customer satisfaction.
First Call Analyst: Joseph Bergstein
SOURCE: PPL Electric Utilities
CONTACT: Michael Wood, PPL Corporation, +1-610-774-2453 or
Web Site: http://www.pplelectric.com/