Alabama Power tops the chart for social customer service
A recent analysis of American electric utilities sought to measure how responsive those companies are to their customers on social media channels - and Alabama Power finished at the top of the list.
The study was conducted by Conversocial, a New York-based provider of customer service software. For a one-week period in mid-April, Conversocial tracked the Twitter mentions and replies of 20 leading utilities, and graded them on response rate and time until response.
Of the 20 companies tracked, Alabama Power ranked second in both categories. The company responded to 40 percent of customer mentions, nearly twice the rate of the group average. Alabama Power's average response time of 9 minutes and 25 seconds was far ahead of the 5-hour, 39-minute average. Only four of the surveyed utilities averaged less than an hour to answer a customer.
"It's impressive that Alabama Power is handling a heavy volume while also keeping up a swift response time," said Conversocial marketing director Mike Schneider.
Schneider looked beyond the raw data, and praised Alabama Power's commitment to keeping the conversation in the social space. He said many companies rely on automated replies that funnel customers to more traditional platforms.
"It's excellent that Alabama Power is having real conversations, and staying within channel," Schneider said. "A customer experience on Twitter should stay on Twitter, instead of pushing them to phone or email."
Alabama Power's social media response starts with a dedicated Online Service and Support team, with responsibility for both email inquiries and social media mentions from customers.
The team anchors a schedule that covers Facebook and Twitter from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. on weekdays, and 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. on weekends.
Customers can connect directly with Alabama Power through its online accounts, at http://twitter.com/alabamapower and http://facebook.com/alabamapower.
Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO), provides reliable, affordable electricity to more than 1.4 million customers across the state.