Increase operational efficiencies with address verification from Experian QAS
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Citizens Gas collects customer addresses in their customer care contact center during the account onboarding process and when the utility is advised of mailing address updates. Without a front-end address verification solution in place, the utility received a significant amount of returned mail, collection times took longer, and customers were calling in wondering why they had not received their bills.
Citizens Gas found a solution to their address data quality issues by using QAS Pro, a tool that works seamlessly within their CIS to verify customers addresses in real-time as they are captured.
Now that customer contact addresses are verified, Citizens Gas attributes increased operational efficiencies and some reduced handling times to the use of Experian QAS products.
Citizens Gas has a single focus on customer service. As a not-for-profit company it either returns profits to its customer in the form of lower rates or reinvests its profits to make facilities more reliable and efficient.
Citizens Gas knew that incorrect mailing addresses were causing a problem as well as being costly for the company. However, the utility was not actively seeking a solution for validating mailing addresses.
Without address verification solutions in place, Citizens Gas found that there were numerous errors entering their CIS. These issues included simple human errors like misspelling or "fat fingering," as well as missing information such as an apartment number or street directional.
The repercussions of a bad address could be felt throughout the organization. The amount of returned mail didn't just represent wasted postage; it translated into operational roadblocks and the potential for unhappy customers.
Implementing Experian QAS
Experian QAS products capture, validate, cleanse, standardize and enrich customer contact information and work with any application used to accept address data.
It wasn't until an Experian QAS representative met the Director of Customer Service at a tradeshow that Citizens Gas saw the value of capturing addresses in realtime. Dennis Claffey, Manager of Customer Relations at Citizens Gas, explained that after an evaluation of QAS Pro, Experian QAS' front-end address verification tool, call center representatives bought into the tool as it helped with their core job responsibilities.
Now when Citizens Gas call center representatives take address information from their customers, QAS Pro checks that the address is valid against the USPS® postal file. Additionally, if there is any missing information such as apartment number the call center representative will be prompted to ask for the details to get a complete address.
Making the Customer Service Connection
Customer service is a top priority for Citizens Gas and one thing that the utility prides itself on is making smart business decisions that improve the overall customer experience. By capturing customer address data accurately up-front it allows Citizens Gas to provide information, updates, and bills in a timely manner.<\p>
Additionally, when a customer does call in with an issue, being able to handle the concern quickly and effectively is expected. With accurate contact data Citizens Gas is able to get an accurate customer view which helps them during this process.
Results of Better Data
Citizens Gas has experienced significant benefit from the use of Experian QAS' front-end address verification. The quality of information captured has improved significantly, resulting in a higher confidence rate in their customer data. By using QAS Pro, call center representatives are now able to capture data accurately and faster. Claffey states that with the use of the address verification tool "handle times for this type of contact data have been reduced on average by 10 to 15 seconds per call." This allows for more calls to be handled in a shorter amount of time.
From an operational standpoint, with fewer bad addresses entering Citizens Gas CIS, there is less backend re-work associated with customer contact data. The delivery rate has increased, with bills, information, and dunning notices now being received. By having customer receive their bills it also helped with speeding up the collection process.