Increasing Conversion Rates and Handling Times: Deregulated Utility

Increasing Conversion Rates by 35% and Decreasing Handling Times by 27% at Gas South

Client Case Study


Gas South serves more than 260,000 residential, business and government customers in Georgia and Florida and is best known for innovation and community commitment.  Because Georgia is a deregulated gas market, customers can choose the best provider.  Gas South’s business is seasonal. The busy “Light Up” season runs from September 1 to the middle of November and is the prime time to convert calls into sales.

After outsourcing their service center for years, Gas South decided to bring the service center back in house to more closely align customer service with Gas South’s service strategy.

When Gas South took the service center in house, the staff was asked to service and sell to better match the customer buying and issue resolution process.  Happily, most reps exhibited behaviors that showed commitment to making sure the customers received whichever service they are eligible for, adhered to very basic standards like answering the phone correctly and exhibited basic courtesies like saying “thank you” or “please” when appropriate, and followed customer verification requirements on direct calls.


  • While everyone was now expected to service and sell, not everyone had adequate service and sales skills to convert calls and give excellent customer service and the abilities varied significantly from rep to rep.
  • Some reps were struggling to effectively move customers from the initial decision point to buying.
  • Reps had to be trained to promote how the company provided a great service, motivate the customer to buy or address opportunities to sell long-term contracts.
  • There was an opportunity to increase urgency created by the reps and, in some instances, reps did not have the skill set to take the call that was routed to them.
  • Very little, if any, upfront discovery was done before quoting rates. When rates were quoted, they were given in a laundry list format without consideration for why one would choose a certain rate over another causing customer confusion and frustration.
  • The Public Service Commission in Atlanta requires that a certain number of calls be answered in a certain amount of time.
  • The call monitoring process was very detailed and sometimes missed the “essence” of the call while creating data overload and ambiguity for the reps and their managers.


  1. Conduct Sales Strategy Optimization Workout: Finalize the key success metrics to move and determine the critical few scenarios/call types with sales opportunities and craft an optimum and realistic approach to driving revenue.
  2. Design and Deliver Sales Pilot Session: Enable one core team to recognize and solve for top call types in order to impact sales conversion rate and average handling time.
  3. Train the Trainer: Enable one qualified Contact Center facilitator to deliver the sales workshops on an ongoing basis.
  4. Coach-the-Coach: Provide targeted performance methodology and feedback for customer service reps and their managers.
  5. Align Incentives: Update performance metrics and incentives to better align a sales and service culture
  6. Measure Results and Improve: Analyze the pilot deliverable results and critical few “Metrics to Move™” to determine next steps.

Metrics That Moved

  • 35% increase in Sales Conversion Rate in 8 months
  • 27% decrease in Average Handle Time in 8 months
  • A specific, clear and coach-able customer acquisition process helped to uncover other underlying performance management issues to be addressed







“We pride ourselves on customer service and innovation, and realized that our existing call acquisition strategy and processes were cumbersome to both our associates and customers. As a result, we partnered with LSA Global to develop a new call acquisition strategy. Together, we designed the new call flow process and trained our associates, resulting in an increased sales conversion rate, decreased average handle time and a higher level of customer service. Additionally, the clear expectations and accountability on each and every call has lifted our team’s overall performance.”
Greg Dunavant | Director of Customer Care Operations | Gas South

Related Information

Having gone through many leadership development programs it can be said that my approach was reasonably skeptical at first. The analyst in me has concluded it was your method; which was almost conversational and so cleverly delivered I initially missed it, which is the mark of a great facilitator.

In the program several leadership tools were employed, props such as the familiar movie clip, interaction games with peers; the text and reference guides, the analysis and profile of team members by peers and facilitated conversation to name a few. These tools, created scenario based, referenced learning that could be immediately translated into the work place. That coupled with the follow-on coaching sessions have been the key to the development. I am pleased to have attended the LSA Global Program and even more so feel privileged to have had you as teacher and coach.

Edison Stephen
VP Customer Service


We partnered with LSA Global to help us provide the most effective customer service skills for our associates. Guided by our Promoter Satisfaction scores, we sought to partner with an organization that could provide customer service training and consulting programs for a diverse set of employees, communicating with customers via phone, email and in person, and with varying levels of knowledge and tenure. I’ve already gotten emails from customers saying that they’re seeing a change.”

Field Service Leader


We were all very impressed with LSA’s call center consulting efforts and extremely satisfied with the recommendations. Our intention is to take the many recommendations and implement them in our Call Center.

Ron Shell
SVP Business Development


We engaged with LSA Global to support our Customer Service Improvement initiative to develop and enhance the awareness and importance of good customer service within our Corporate Business Services group. We wanted to deliver a solution that would positively influence and shape internal behaviors and customer behaviors.

LSA Global, through their partnership process, demonstrated their value proposition. By first understanding our desired outcomes, only then could an effective solution be designed and delivered. Their consultant was well prepared, engaging and really drove a cross-functional, multi-level audience, to see a “basic” concept in profound and impactful ways.  We will look to LSA Global for these and future needs.

Stanley Newman
Customer Service Manager


We engaged with LSA Global to share best practices around Rapid Instructional Design and to develop, design, and deliver an session that taught our property owners the benefits of our Customer Loyalty program.

We found their experts to be collaborative, insightful, prepared, and nimble, especially given that the time frame for the project became compressed.

We look forward to continuing our strategic partnership.

Annmarie Fairweather
Vice President Brand Service

I want to personally thank you.  The effective presentations skills and leadership coaching  exceeded our expectations.

You gave our consultants practical tools and insights they could walk away with and immediately utilize.

Thank you for being so professional, yet fun, to work with.

Jennifer Morgans
VP Customer Experience

We engaged with LSA Global to train our Call Center Customer Service Managers and Team Leaders how to be effective coaches. We wanted our CSMs and TLs to be able to conduct the “hard” conversations around performance, to create a coaching environment that encourages our agents to be self-motivated, and ultimately to create a better experience for our consumers. LSA’s facilitator was able to tailor the content and deliver it in way that really demonstrated a deep understanding of our needs and left our CSMs and TLs wanting more!

Jane Pearson-Wray
Continuous Improvement Manager


We needed a way to improve customer training. We had to reach a disparate group of people in a very short period time. LSA gave us a new training methodology and a better way to go to market with our customer training that improved their experience and our brand positioning.

LSA delivered exactly what we needed and exceeded our expectations.  Thank you.

Hinda Chalew
Vice President of Marketing

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