Northeast Customer Service Enhancement

 

Hello! My name is Lisa and I'm a top ranking Customer Service Representative who is constantly enhancing and improving the customer experience. I'd like to share my experiences with you and give you some valuable pieces of advice!

Do you want to be the top Northeast Customer Service Representative at Frontier? Then follow along as I give you a short overview of the Northeast and take you on the ultimate customer experience journey. Click "Start Course" above and complete each section in order.

A Short Northeast Overview

About the Northeast

Frontier Utilities, Northeast LLC is licensed to sell electricity and natural gas in three deregulated Northeast states, with one more on the way in late spring. 

The current states are Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ohio. 

Click the information buttons below each state on the map below to learn which utilities are in which state! 

Match the Utility Abbreviation with the Full Name!

When a customer calls in, it is important to quickly recall both the abbreviation and full name of the utility. Can you remember? Match them up below and click submit!

  • PP&L
    Pennsylvania Power and Light
  • PSEG
    Public Service Electric and Gas Company
  • AEPOH
    American Electric Power Ohio
  • NJNG
    New Jersey Natural Gas
  • JCPL
    Jersey Central Power and Light
  • AEPCS
    American Electric Power Columbus Southern
  • COH
    Columbia Gas
  • DUQ
    Duquesne Light Company
  • PECO
    PECO (This utility doesn't have a full name!)
  • UGI
    UGI (This utility doesn't have a full name!)

Similarities and Differences from Texas

There are some similarities with Texas utilities and the customers, however there are some differences too. The main ones are listed out below. In the next few pages I will get into the specifics of each state.

Similarities 

  • Customers benefit by switching to Frontier because of the guarantee of a fixed rate throughout the term of their contract. 
  • Customers have a rescission period to cancel their contract.
  • Customers have an early termination fee if they cancel their contract before it expires. They will receive a ETF notice in the mail. 
  • Customers receive a contract expiration notice before their contract expires. If they don't call renew, their account will go to a rollover plan.

Differences

  • Natural gas is sold in the Northeast.
  • The utility also offers service to customers. Frontier is always in competition with the utility. However the utility only provides variable rates without a contract. 
  • Frontier is not allowed to say that the services are cheaper, that customers will save money by switching to Frontier, or that they should switch to Frontier because the utility is higher.  
  • Frontier does not bill the customer directly. Customers receive a bill from their utility with the utility charges, and Frontier's charges for electricity, gas or both. Frontier does not receive any payment directly from the customers. 

All About Pennsylvania

 

Background:

Pennsylvania was one of the first states to encourage competition between energy companies. They passed the Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act in 1996, allowing customers to choose the company that supplies their electricity and natural gas. However, customers can opt into continuing to purchase their commodities through their utility companies. 

 

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Three Day PA Hold There is a three day hold on enrollments to allow a rescission period. Once the three days passes without a customer rescission, the enrollment is submitted to the utility. The Welcome letter is sent out the first day of this hold. During this period the status of the customer is PRE_ENROLL.
Rescission Period to Cancel Enrollment Three business days after the receipt of their welcome letter.
Contract Expiration Notice Customers will receive an initial contract expiration notice 60 days before their contract ends and then a rollover letter 10 days after that (at 50 days before their contract expires) 
Can't Provide Service to Anyone on a government assistance program. Example: CAP
Comparison Site

PA Power Switch

 

 

 

All About New Jersey

Background:

New Jersey has been deregulated since 1999. Customers can choose to switch to a retail energy company or they can opt into continuing to purchase their commodities through their utility companies. 

Rescission Period to Cancel Enrollment

Seven calendar days following the date on the welcome letter.

Contract Expiration Notice

Customers will receive a rollover letter notice 50 days before their contract expires.

Can't Provide Service to

Anyone who’s behind on their bill, if we enroll a customer who is delinquent on their account, our system will reject the order and generate a letter informing the customer that we’re not able to provide service for that reason.

Comparison Site

NJ Power Switch

All About Ohio

Background:

Ohio has been deregulated since 2011. Customers can choose to switch to a retail energy company or they can opt into continuing to purchase their commodities through their utility companies. 

Required Forms Sales agents are required to leave behind a signed Letter of Authorization for both electric and gas sales. The agent must also leave a Sales Acknowledgement Form for Gas Sales.
Rescission Period to Cancel Enrollment Seven calendar days following the postmark date on the welcome letter.
Contract Expiration Notice Customers will receive a rollover letter notice 50 days before their contract expires.
Can't Provide Service to Anyone on a government assistance program such as Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) or anyone enrolled in budget billing.
Comparision Site Apples to Apples

 

How does Frontier acquire Northeast customers?

Sales Methods

Door to Door

An agent goes to the customers home, knocks on their door and offers them a competitive rate with the assurance they will not be on a variable plan. The customer signs up and completes a TPV - Third Party Verification.  

Telesales

An agent calls the customer, offers them a competitive rate with the assurance they will not be on a variable plan. The customer signs up and completes a TPV - Third Party Verification.

Online 

A customer goes online to a price comparing site such as PA Power Switch, or to the Frontier website, and enrolls in a plan themselves.

Customer Calls Frontier Directly

A customer finds the phone number for Frontier and decides to call and see what can be offered to them. This is where you come in! See the next page for how to use the Northeast Offer Sheet.

How to use the Current Offer Sheet

When a customer calls in to enroll with Frontier and doesn't already have a rate in mind, you will use the Northeast Offer Sheet. You should always offer them the highest rate first, and then work your way down. Do not offer online rates for any customers who were signed up via door to door or telesales.

Everyone should have the offer sheet link saved to your favorites. That way you can quickly pull it up when needed. The good thing about the report is that it is always the most up-to-date version!

Click the information buttons below to learn more about the offer sheet.

Important! You can see how much a customers early termination fee is by referring to the offer sheet and looking up their plan! It will show you the fee, and you just times it by how many months they have left on their contract!

New Sales Tracking Tool

There is a new sales tracking note in Orion. It tells you what vendor and agent made the sale and on what date. Play the video above to see how to view it.

True or False

Select if each statement is true or false below.

  • You should always offer the highest plan on the Current Offer Sheet first.
  • The new sales tracking tool is for customers who sign up online.
  • There is not a way to find out a customers usage history.
  • The Northeast doesn't have door to door agents.

How Do You handle a retention call?

Retaining a Customer

There are a few different scenarios that can happen when it comes to retentions. But they all start out with a customer calling Customer Service after a voicemail is left by Enrique after attempting to retain them, or a customer calling to check the status of their account.

The scenario on the next page will help you determine the right actions you should take.

 

Scenario on retaining a customer

Follow the scenario below to see what happens when a customer did authorize a switch.

Click the [1] box at the bottom of the scenario to move to the next scene.

Why would a customer want to cancel?

Cancellations Happen

There are many instances when a customer calls Frontier to cancel their account. 

Sometimes, their contact is up, sometimes it is not and they still want to leave Frontier. 

Sometimes, customers will want to cancel before their account has been set up in Orion. They might change their mind after the agent has left their house, or changed their mind after they have gotten off the phone with a telesales agent. They might have talked to their spouse when they got home from work and decided switching to Frontier was not best for them at the time. 

This is OK, and there is a simple process that you can follow to stop the enrollments from going through, and help the customer feel reassured that their service will not start with Frontier. This scenario normally happens the day they signed up with Frontier.


Cancellation Process - If customer is not in the system yet

You should follow the correct cancellation process for when there is not an account in ORION yet. The process is outlined below. 

  • Step 1: Ensure the account is not in ORION by obtaining the customers name or telephone number and doing a quick search.
  • Step 2: If the they do not have an account yet,  email the Northeast team the customers name and phone number with a detailed message regarding the situation.
  • Step 3: Tell the customer that their service has been cancelled.

DO NOT: Tell the customer that they are not in the system yet and will need to call back in a few days.

Handing cancellations not yet in the system

A customer calls in to cancel her service with Frontier. She enrolled today. Follow along and select the correct responses to the customer.

Cancellations in Orion

If a customer calls to cancel and their account is in Orion, you need to:

  • STEP 1: Review the account thoroughly and see any prior conversations the customer might have had with other Customer Service Representatives. 
  • STEP 2: Advise the customer that there will be an Early Termination Fee if they close their account before the end of their contract. If they are within their recession period, they will not be charged an ETF. 
  • STEP 3: If they still want to cancel, you must enter a detailed call note explaining what was done to try to retain the account.
  • STEP 4: Ensure that the account has been cancelled.

Important! If the customer has a dual fuel account (both electric and gas) be sure to cancel both.

Click on the information buttons below to learn more about how to handle this situation in Orion.

Practice how you would write your call note!

Lets say a customer calls in to cancel, and you are unable to retain them. They have a $50 ETF. How would you write your call note in ORION?

What other things do you need to know?

Different task types in Orion

There are many different Northeast task types in Orion. We will go over some of the most important ones next! You will learn when it is most appropriate to use them, and what to put in the call note.

 

It is important to remember not to select the task type "Other" to describe an issue. Ensure you are selecting the best task type that fits the situation

.

 

 

NE Cancellation Switch - Drop Request

This task type is to be used when you have exhausted all of your retention options and the customer wants to proceed with the cancellation request. 

Call Note Example: Mr. Smith called to cancel because (reason they want to cancel). I told him he is still under contract and that if he switches there’s an early termination fee. I offered to changed his plan but he insisted on cancelling. Cancellation number 0123456022317.

Important! The cancellation number is based on the seven digit account number, followed by the current date.


NE Switch Out - Retain

This task type should be used when the customer calls to cancel, and you convince them to stay with Frontier. 

Call Note Example: Mr. Smith called in to cancel because his bill is too high. I made an offer and he agreed to stay under: PA Power 12 at 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour, $ 5.95 monthly base fee, $ 10.00 ETF  per month. VV # 0123456022317.

Important! The voice verification number is based on the current date, followed by the street address.

Here is an example of the NE Switch Out Retain call note format in Orion. 

You should also add a bit of explanation so we will know why the customer wanted to cancel and what was said that made them stay. Here is an example:

Mrs. Jane Doe called to cancel because of an offer from another supplier. I reviewed her account and our system shows she’s still under contract. I informed her of the ETF and she changed her mind and wanted to stay with Frontier.

NE Re - Contracted

You will use this task type when a customer calls in to renew their contract that is about to expire.


Call Note Example:  Mr. Smith called and agreed to renew his contract under: PA Power 12 at 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour, $ 5.95 monthly base fee, $ 10.00 ETF per month.

NE Enrollment Disputes

Important! Never play a TPV recording for a customer. It is imperative an investigation is launched first.

The NE Enrollment Dispute Call Note is NOT used for instances where the customer denies enrolling with Frontier. This call note is used when they dispute a PART of the enrollment, not the enrollment itself. Examples would be disputing the rate, term, ETF, giftcard, etc.



NE Fraud Investigation

Important! Never play a TPV recording for a customer. It is imperative an investigation is launched first.

The NE Fraud Investigation Call Note is ONLY to be used if the customer calls and says they do not know how they got switched. Tell the customer we will investigate and get back to them within 48 hours to let them know our findings. Attempt to calm the customer and make them understand that we want to help them and will make every effort to find out what happened. Make sure they understand that if we find that they did not authorize a switch we will cancel it and they will not incur any charges from Frontier.

NE PUC Threat

Important! Never play a TPV recording for a customer. It is imperative an investigation is launched first.

The NE PUC Threat Call Note is to be used if the customer calls and threatens to file a complaint with a state Public Utility Commission (PUC) or an Attorney General or the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Tell the customer we will investigate and get back to them within 48 hours to let them know our findings. Attempt to calm the customer and make them understand that we want to help them and will make every effort to find out what happened. 

NE Task Type Matching

Match the Task Type on the left with the appropriate Customer statement.

  • NE Enrollment Dispute
    "I was told the rate was 5 cents per kWh...I was told there was no ETF...I was told I could cancel at any time...I was told there was no monthly fee...I was told there was a giftcard."
  • NE Re - Contracted
    "I received a letter stating my contract is ending soon. I would like to renew!"
  • NE Cancellation Switch - Drop Request
    "I would like to cancel my service with Frontier Utilities."
  • NE Switch Out - Retain
    "I called to cancel my service with Frontier Utilities, but found out I have an ETF if I cancel. I would like to stay with Frontier Utilities."
  • Other
    Never use this task type.
  • NE PUC Threat
    "I'm going to file a complaint with the (State OR Attorney General OR PUC OR Public Utility Commission)
  • NE Fraud Investigation
    "I did not complete a verification and I know nothing about this switch to Frontier."

How do you write a cancellation number?

A customer called in today (February 23 2017) to cancel their account. Their account number is 7952677.

Do you remember the format for creating a cancellation #  for the Cancellation Switch - Drop Request call note?  What would this customers cancellation number be? Select the correct answer below.

  • 555555
  • 0223177952677
  • 7952677022317
  • It doesn't matter! They don't need a cancellation number.

How to you write a voice verification confirmation number?

A customer called in today (February 23 2017) and you retained their account. Their account number is 4678898 and their street address is 897 Sesame Street.

Do you remember the format for creating a voice verification #  for the NE Switch Out- Retain call note?  What would this customers their voice verification  number be? Select the correct answer below.

  • 022317897
  • 4678898022317
  • 897022317
  • What is a voice verification number?

Wrap-up

Great Job!

You have finished the module, learned more about the Northeast markets,  and taken the ultimate customer experience journey.  I hope you are able to take away a lot of valuable information from today and apply them while to your daily calls!

You're on the way to become the top Northeast Customer Service Representative at Frontier!

 

Your Thoughts!

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