Organization and Principles of Customer Relations
Holding’s customer relations are oriented toward implementing national policy on the control of service quality applicable to natural monopolies and mitigating the risks associated with antimonopoly law violations that may be committed by the Company subsidiaries.
In 2012, the Company took part in implementing the Road Map “Enhancing the Affordability of the Power Infrastructure” approved by Ordinance of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1144-r of June 30, 2012. The projects carried out with the involvement of the Company aim to achieve the following objectives:
- Raise the quality of network connection operations conducted by grid organizations by means of improving the control tools through tariff regulation;
- Change the motivation system for management of grid organizations with the aim of enhancing the efficiency of network connection operations;
- Build a customer-oriented system for servicing applicants for network connection, using information technology and template solutions.
REQUESTS AND APPEALS RECEIVED BY THE COMPANY SUBSIDIARIESСкачать в XLS
The Company’s management did considerable work in 2012 to lay the foundations for developing the existing customer relations system of subsidiaries. The Company adheres to the following guiding principles in its customer relations:
- Customers’ sufficient awareness of the Company and services provided by its subsidiaries;
- Territorial accessibility and convenient conditions of face-to-face customer service of subsidiaries; Accessibility and promptness of remote and online customer service of subsidiaries;
- Qualified service;
- Transparent business processes of customer service; unbiased consideration of customer complaints.
With due consideration to the existing guiding principles based on the model Centralized Customer Service System Standard formulated for subsidiaries, the boards of directors of all subsidiaries completed in 2012 the development and approval of the standards and action plans to build the customer service system.
In total, the Company subsidiaries received 3.9 million requests and appeals via all communication channels in 2012, or 76% more than in 2011. Network connection issues accounted for 30% of the total number, and the number of requests and appeals in this category increased by 8% on the previous year.
The customer service system of the Company subsidiaries consists of three channels: face-to-face service, remote service, and online service.
FACE-TO-FACE CUSTOMER SERVICE
With the aim of ensuring the territorial accessibility and convenient conditions of face-to-face customer service in the serviced areas, the Company subsidiaries operate 517 customer service offices, including 50 Category 1 central offices. The reporting period saw the opening of 10 additional customer service offices, which made it possible to extend the territorial accessibility of face-to-face service to about four million people.
It is planned that face-to-face service facilities will continue to open at the same pace in 2013 as in 2012, aiming to raise the territorial accessibility of face-to-face customer service.
To improve face-to-face customer service quality, the Company subsidiaries on a constant basis analyze face-to-face customer service business processes and their optimization, control compliance with customer service standards and schedules, and take measures to provide customer service offices with necessary equipment for creating convenient waiting conditions.
Visitors to face-to-face customer service offices can obtain reference information and qualified consultations related to the core business of the Company subsidiaries and submit a request for network connection and ancillary services.
In 2012, customer service offices in the areas serviced by the Company subsidiaries received over one million face-to-face requests and appeals. Central offices’ sites regularly conduct market studies to find how satisfied customers are and become aware of their preferences and expectations, which enables subsidiaries to raise face-to-face customer service quality and the quality of their services in general and identify problems.
REMOTE CUSTOMER SERVICE
Remote customer service over the telephone primarily uses numbers of call centers and customer service centers of each subsidiary. The principal goals of a call center is to receive and handle households’ incoming calls about all issues related to subsidiaries’ activities, provide a customer with necessary information, and make inquiries with the aim of studying a market of additional services, promising areas of customer service development, and customer satisfaction with services provided.
As part of efforts to develop and improve the operating principles of remote customer service over the telephone, work was done in 2012 on providing call centers with necessary equipment and automating the processes of receiving incoming calls from households in accordance with the approved standards.
In order to promptly provide relevant information to households, mitigate the consequences of process failures, and speed up accident recovery work, subsidiaries ensured that incoming calls were received from customers on a 24/7 basis in the 2012/13 heating season. Additionally, hotline operators were involved in exercises aimed at improving their skills of cooperating in remedying emergency situations that may lead to power outages. These exercises are conducted jointly with EMERCOM regional offices, municipal administrations, and regional executive authorities.
Subsidiaries received a total of over two million requests and appeals via call centers and hotlines in 2012, which is 192% compared with 2011. The aggregate structure of requests and appeals for the past three years is characterized by a constant growth in requests and appeals over the telephone; for instance, they accounted for 50% of all requests and appeals received in 2012. The upward trend in the demand for communicating by telephone is due to the following factors:
- Extensive efforts are made to disseminate information about electricity supply hotlines and call centers of subsidiaries in the media and on the Internet;
- Incoming calls were switched over from numbers of district electricity networks’ dispatching personnel to a single number of a call center;
- The validation of data contained in reports on customers’ incoming calls received by subsidiaries was improved.
ONLINE CUSTOMER SERVICE
Since online service is in demand among small and medium-sized businesses; in building their customer service systems, subsidiaries focus their attention on the development of online tools on their websites.
In 2012, the Company subsidiaries received more than 14,000 electronic requests and appeals, which is a substantial increase on 2011 (130%). The number of electronic requests and appeals grew due to such factors as an annual rise in Internet users, the dissemination of information about online service in the media, and the implementation of projects to develop subsidiaries’ online customer service.
For instance, work was completed in 2012 on the organization of customer feedback using online inquiry forms on subsidiaries’ corporate websites, projects are underway for creating and expanding the functionality of personal login pages used to electronically track the progress of network connection services provided and obtain all necessary information on the stages of services.
Holding’s measures carried out in 2012 and planned for a long-run period in relation to organizing the customer service system of subsidiaries ensure that a customer-oriented approach is developed in subsidiaries’ activities and employed as a key factor in improving the reliability and quality of services provided by the Russian electric grid sector.