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Utilizing the Callback


Recently I moved from San Mateo to San Francisco. Like any move, it involved a couple phone calls to utility companies.

I was really impressed with Pacific Gas & Electric. When a company has a dominating position in their industry, it’s pretty easy to see why customer service can drop down the priority list.

When I called PG&E to setup service at my new address, the call started like any other – the typical “we are experiencing an abnormally large call volume” message. But after that announcement, PG&E offered to call me back when an opening occurred.

It worked perfectly – I received a call a bit later and was instantly connected to an operator.

I’d argue that 99% percent of the time, it’s people and not technology that result in better customer service (here’s a great story about Best Buy and cookies). It’s great to see it work the other way.

Call centers are a particularly interesting area. They won’t overstaff to just handle the peak times, but the service still needs to be adequate when things get busy. PG&E’s callbacks work great, but I’m also excited to see if companies like liveops can make an impact as well.

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