Customer Response CenterThe Customer Response Center was created to provide after-hours answering and dispatch by seven electric cooperatives. CRC is a non-profit entity located in the headquarters of Alabama Electric Cooperative.
Originally designed to provide after-hours electrical outage reporting and dispatch services, it has also expanded its services for its member-owners including outage reporting for DirecTV subscribers and Internet customers.
CRC provides service throughout Alabama and Northwest Florida. It serves the following cooperatives: South Alabama EC, Southern Pine EC, Tallapoosa EC, Coosa Valley EC, Central Alabama EC, Clarke-Washington EMC, Covington EC, Dixie EC, Escambia River EC and Gulf Coast EC.
CRC utilizes an Interactive Voice Response System for call handling. The system is capable of receiving up to 96 inbound calls simultaneously. The first call is sent to a “live” dispatcher(s), and subsequent calls are answered by the IVR, through personalized scripts and prompts. The IVR retrieves member information from a database, utilizing the member’s phone number. Therefore, it is very important that we have your correct phone number listed in our customer records. Customers are also given the opportunity to record information concerning their outage. Life support and prime power customers are identified and are given the highest priority.
The IVR allows dispatchers to sort information by various criteria. For example, we have the ability to break each customer down by substation feed, line section, reclosure number and map number to accurately assess the outage area.
CRC communicates directly with Gulf Coast personnel utilizing telephone, radio, cellular phones, beepers, computer and facsimile to ensure we receive all logged outages. Our personnel also have the ability to log into the IVR to access and view all outage restoration efforts either from the office or home.
The dispatchers that staff CRC are well-trained, efficient and effective personnel. In addition, there are routine meetings between individual cooperative staff and CRC staff that work together to resolve any problems associated with the service, as well as to look for ways to better serve each cooperative’s customer base. By pooling our efforts with other cooperatives, GCEC is able to offer a better service at a lower operating cost.
As the electric utility industry evolves into a more customer focused market, Gulf Coast is responding with the Customer Response Center.
The service is provided from 4:30 p.m. until 7 a.m., Monday through Friday, and 24 hours on weekends and holidays for Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative members. If an outage occurs during these time frames, call one of our toll-free outage reporting numbers: 1-800-568-3667 or 1-800-333-9392.