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March 27, 2019

Go Ahead and @ Us: AEP Expands Customer Care Outreach to Social Media

Social media can keep you in touch with loved ones and help you stay up to date on the news, and now it can even get you answers about your electric service. American Electric Power is making customer service more accessible thanks to a team of professionals dedicated to addressing customers’ needs through social media.

In 2018, AEP received more than 60,000 inbound messages across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. The high volume led to a discussion on how AEP could use social media to better serve our customers – many who had reached out with questions about bills, outages and other inquiries. The solution? A social media center with customer care professionals and corporate communications staff working together to assist customers one tweet, comment and message at a time.

“The addition of social media to our customer care efforts gives customers the choice of how they would like to reach out to us,” said Shauntaye Wilder-DeCarlo, digital and social media supervisor with AEP. “Interacting over social media allows us to let customers know we’re listening to their needs and that we want to meet those needs over social media just like we do over the phone or through email.”

Question about a bill? Notice a tree limb that could take out a power line? Expert customer care specialists monitor social media seven days a week to address these concerns and more. Customers typically can expect to receive an initial response within a few minutes during the social care team’s operating hours.

“Contacting AEP through social media gives customers the ability to instantly submit a question or request while also giving them the flexibility to respond when it’s most convenient for them,” said Emerson Cunningham, principal social media strategist with AEP. “You receive the same great service you would experience over the phone because our social media customer care team is made up of professionals who are able to help customers with a wide array of questions or issues.”

The social care team is available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern, and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., including holidays. They can assist customers in all seven of AEP’s operating companies: AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power, Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma and Southwestern Electric Power Company. Customers still can reach customer care by phone or online, if they prefer.

Next time you experience an outage, give us a call, send us a direct message or tag us on Facebook; we’ll be on the other end ready and willing to help.

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