The Company’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 subsidiaries and dependent companies.
In 2012, the Company took part in implementing the Enhancing the Affordability of the Power Infrastructure road map 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 at achieving 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.
The Company management did considerable work in 2012 to develop the existing customer relations system of subsidiaries and dependent companies. The Company adheres to the following guiding principles in its customer relations:
- customers are sufficiently aware of the company and the services provided by its subsidiaries and dependent companies
- territorial accessibility and convenient conditions of face-to-face customer service of subsidiaries and dependent companies
- accessibility and promptness of remote and online customer service of subsidiaries and dependent companies
- 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 and dependent companies, in 2012 the subsidiaries completed the development and approval of SDCs’ service standards and the action plans to improve customer service.
In total, the Company’s SDCs 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%.
The customer service system of the Company’s subsidiaries consists of three channels: face-to-face service, remote service, and online service.
DIAGRAM 5. BREAKDOWN OF REQUESTS AND APPEALSСкачать в XLS
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, SDCs 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 approximately four million people.
To improve face-to-face customer service quality, the Company’s subsidiaries constantly 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 SDCs and submit a request for network connection and ancillary services.
In 2012, customer service offices in the areas serviced by the Company’s 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 to become aware of their preferences and expectations, which enables SDCs 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 SDC. The principal goal of a call center is to receive and handle households’ incoming calls about all issues related to SDCs’ 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, SDCs 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.
ONLINE CUSTOMER SERVICE
Since online service is in demand among small and medium-sized businesses; in building their customer service systems, SDCs focus their attention on the development of online tools on their websites. Work was completed in 2012 on the organization of customer feedback using online inquiry forms on SDCs’ 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.
The Company’s measures carried out in 2012 and planned for the long-term in relation to organizing the customer service system of SDCs ensure that a customer-oriented approach is developed in SDCs’ activities and employed as a key factor in improving the reliability and quality of services provided by the Russian electric grid sector.