AEP Sustainability - Customers

Customers

As we transform digitally, customer care will continue to become more fluid in terms of how it occurs – whether in a digital channel, on the phone or both.

Technology is changing the way our customers use energy and how they prefer to communicate with us. We are committed to delivering a personalized experience for our customers by engaging with them through their channel of choice, and technology is the driving force behind our efforts to improve. We continue to explore how we can best leverage digital solutions to expand our platforms and channels. By personalizing engagement, improving efficiency of existing channels and integrating new technology, we’re elevating the customer experience and delivering excellent service.

Supporting Our Customers During COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic began to impact our service territory and the nation, we maintained high-quality customer service while keeping our customer operations employees safe. More than 80% of our customer operations associates, who are part of our essential workforce, transitioned to working from home as part of our mission to give employees still working in call centers room to provide for social distancing. IT quickly located laptops and shipped them to employees so they could do their jobs safely and efficiently. The transition proved to be successful, and customer operations is exploring the possibility of having additional associates work from home post-pandemic. The pandemic brought immense financial insecurity for many of our customers. With stay-at-home orders in effect across the country, reliable energy service became more important than ever. Read more about how we supported our customers during the pandemic in our COVID-19 section.

The Power of Our People: Listening to Our Customers During a Time of Need

Our customer care agents typically are the employees our customers interact with the most. As the friendly and helpful voices who field customer phone calls, they’re crucial to ensuring a great customer experience. During the COVID-19 pandemic, their skills proved more important than ever. Charlie Petry, a business solutions associate based in Hurricane, West Virginia, embraced being the “face” of AEP for our customers.

In his role, Petry works with business customers and non-residential accounts managing standard customer service tasks. When the economy began to feel the impact of the pandemic, he and his colleagues fielded an increase in calls from businesses asking for help with their bills.

Petry was part of a team at AEP trained to help customers understand and leverage the loan and federal and state relief options that were being offered.

“Our jobs and our customers’ jobs and lives have changed so much,” Petry said. “I think one of the greatest services we provided was just being here to listen to our customers, some of whom faced the loss of their life savings and the investments they made in their businesses. Being able to help someone who is in dire need is so fulfilling, satisfying and rewarding.”

Petry’s dedication to our customers and his ability to lead with empathy exemplifies the level of service we strive to provide to our customers every day.