If that doesn’t sound like a typical scenario, neither was Hurricane Irma and the ongoing, history-making restoration effort for those who lost power from the massive storm – a number that peaked at more than 6 million people in Florida alone.
You might be interested to know that we’re getting help not only from line workers and tree-trimmers from across North America but also from customer service representatives with New Mexico Gas Company (NMGC), which like TECO is part of the Emera family of companies.
“Family” is the key word at a time like this, said Teala Kail, call center manager with NMGC.
“From the moment we were asked to assist, our Customer Service team was one hundred percent committed,” Kail said. “We trained more than 30 people to take outage calls, and stayed on the phones through the night as the hurricane hit Tampa. Our CSRs rearranged their weekends and volunteered to staff shifts we normally don’t work. Other team members from outside of the Call Center jumped in to assist with NMGC calls. The level of dedication our team members showed was completely inspiring.”
NMGC formally joined TECO Energy in 2014, when the latter closed acquisition of the Albuquerque-based company that provides safe, reliable natural gas to more than 500,000 customers across New Mexico. In 2016, Emera closed acquisition of TECO Energy – welcoming both companies into a top 20 North American regulated utility.
The unification of these companies offers countless opportunities for the customers of each to benefit. It’s something that comes into real focus in times of crisis like now, when people are counting on the around-the-clock help we’re providing to get their lights back on. When they need critically important safety guidance. When they have post-storm, outage-related concerns that top-tier customer service professionals are the best people on the planet to address.
And as Irma’s angry clouds drew closer, the 1,750 miles between Tampa and Albuquerque shrank to a seamless commitment to helping customers like you feel reassured. From Sunday afternoon through Tuesday evening, that played out in 4,378 customer calls – a significant increase in NMGC call volume – with calls answered in 56 seconds on average.
“It was the true definition of achievement with a sense of urgency,” said Rachel Roman, manager of Customer Service Training with TECO. “Within a day, we had NMGC customer service reps up and running. We trained the trainers via conference call/Skype session on Saturday night; they in turn trained their folks Sunday morning and were ready to roll before the storm. It was teamwork at its best!”
Thank you, NMGC! When your customers need help from us, no matter what it is – though we can hopefully cross ‘hurricane’ off the list – we’ll be there for you.