Always be open to innovation and change
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Always be open to innovation and change

ChimaobiChijioke, Vice President of Customer Operations, Baltimore Gas and Electrics
ChimaobiChijioke, Vice President of Customer Operations, Baltimore Gas and Electrics

ChimaobiChijioke, Vice President of Customer Operations, Baltimore Gas and Electrics

In an exclusive interview with CIO Review, Chijioke opens up about the role of innovation and technology in overcoming the major pain points within the digital payments industry.

To begin with, could you please walk us through the journey you have had in this industry and your current role and responsibility at your organization? 

I have been in the company for 12 years. Initially, I was the manager of the customer care area and then worked my way up to become the Functional Area manager of Customer Care for Exelon. Later, I moved to the large customer services and was promoted to the director of customer care before becoming the vice president of customer operations. In my current role, I am responsible for the customer field organization, customer claims, and establishing strategy and governance.

When it comes to the accounting platforms or the payments platforms, how has the industry reacted to the accelerating digitalization during the pandemic?

The pandemic has definitely driven a significant number of customers toward using cashless payment options. There has been an increase in the number of customers using our power and utility apps through the BGE website. The pandemic has convinced even those people who have been apprehensive about making that switch earlier, but now the challenge is how do we continue to align ourselves to that growth?

What do you think are the major pain points that exist in the market lately? 

As companies look for the best ways to engage their customers, they are transitioning to meet what each customer wants. While the pandemic provided us with the need to adapt to digitalization, it also provided us with an opportunity to transition to a more digital payment processing system. That said, utilities have historically been much more proactive and engaging, but the challenge has always been getting customers who have a way of doing business to adopt a new and efficient process. The fact that COVID-19 has opened an avenue for customers and businesses to experience that transitioning and adopting change is a good thing.

What are some of the recent developments or technological trends in digital payments? 

Today's digital growth is accompanied by different processes serving customer expectations and needs. In the case where a customer has Amazon as a payments service provider, other providers are also interested in making the processing of payments as easy as possible.

ChimaobiChijioke has been named BGE's vice president of customer operations, responsible for directing strategy, resources, and activities within customer care, claims, and field and meter services. His team of more than 200 employees was responsible for all external interactions with BGE's residential and small business customers and for resolving customer issues.

Customers view every company as a service provider trying to find the best possible way to meet their needs proactively. This concept refers to the general industry's search for ways to identify the customer's needs and meet them at that point by providing them with the simplest ways to transact in day-to-day business.

How do you envision the future transformation of the space concerning all these potential disruptions and transformations that are happening?

Constant innovation is key to growth, as customers are likelier to engage with companies that show this trait. Our investment in innovation and growth justifies the customer's need for service providers. The goal is to make it easier for our customers to do business with the company, and if the service is available, we will consider it as a potential way to facilitate that process. As service providers, we are invested heavily in innovation and growth, and we will continue to develop that further to meet the need of every customer ultimately.

Would you like to share a piece of advice to upcoming professionals in this field as to how they can be successful in this industry?

The advice I would like to share with my colleagues is to be constantly open to change and be flexible in hearing the feedback from your customers. It helps to determine what the customers need and how to make it easy for your customers to do business. How do you engage your customer? How best do you listen to what the customer needs, and how to make it easy for the customer to do business with us? And I think that is the future of every service provider.

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