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Annual Report 2015

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Consumer relations

Opening of customer service centers at IDGC of the North-West
Opening of customer service centers at IDGC of the North-West

One of the strategic areas for IDGC of the North-West is the improvement of service quality. Customer-focus is one of key metrics of the Company's efficient management system. The objective for comprehensive servicing of consumers and implementation of Common service and communication standards can be met using face-to-face and distance communication tools.

Face-to-face services are provided in customer service centers of PJSC IDGC of the North-West. The Company has 23 customer service offices employing 60 people in seven branches. Moreover, 134 specialists handle consumers at the operating divisions and distribution zones. Any consumer may receive a consultation by a specialist on grid connection, quality, electricity supply, submit a claim or a grid connection request, a request for signing an electricity transmission agreement or additional paid services.

Functions of face-to-face customer service offices are the following:

  • registration, processing, and support of consumer requests for grid connection agreements or additional paid services;
  • ongoing interaction with customers to improve service quality, create maximum comfortable conditions for consumers;
  • acceptance, recording, and analysis of customer claims and complaints and differences settlement.
Distribution of calls in 2015 distributed across communication channels
Distribution of calls in 2015 by category

Distance customer services involve telephone communication and interactive communication channels.

In 2011, the Company launched its ’hotline’ for consumers, Light On Hotline. The common 24-hour Hotline telephone number is 8-800-333-02-52. Additional consumer hotline telephone numbers are available in all branches. Hotline telephone numbers are included in all regional directories and in the Directory of hotlines and on-duty service contacts in Russian constituent entities.

The Company published information on all of its services on its website, where it also provides a feedback option for contacts, claims, and proposals, forms for submitting grid connection and additional paid service requests. The Client Zone is a mean of following up grid connection request progress.

The Company monitors and examines its service quality based on customer information, including information from consumer questionnaire responses, to ensure consistent customer opinion survey.

The visitors of face-to-face customer service points or those contacting an Operating division (REG) employee are requested to independently fill in the questionnaire to assess the quality and time of service, attitude and professionalism of the Company’s personnel, completeness and availability of information on the Company’s website and in the office, convenience of location and opening time of the office. Visitors are also provided with an opportunity of writing down their expectations and claims and specifying the most convenient channel of communication with the Company. Customers may hand over their filled questionnaires to an office employee, place it in a client box, or send by mail.

Questionnaire information is consolidated quarterly by the Customer Relations Department to analyze and develop proposals aimed to improve the customer service and eliminate any identified deficiencies.

The review of the information from questionnaires allows to identify weaknesses in customer relations which shall be taken into account when drawing up field inspection plans to assess the performance of customer service units in branches.

Throughout 2015, a total of 2,994 Company customers filled in these questionnaires, with 73% being individuals. 86% of all respondents requested grid connection services, 10% of respondents requested additional charged services, and 5% of customers had concerns about electricity metering and energy saving.

Most of the Company’s customers remained highly satisfied with the professionalism and friendliness of personnel, the overall ratings across the Company were 4.76 and 4.83 points on a five-point scale, respectively. None of the respondents evaluated professionalism and friendliness of personnel below 4 points.

About 10% of the respondents were not really satisfied with the time of response and transparency of the service process. They commented on time- and effort-consuming paperwork for non-specialists.

Final ratings of time and transparency of the service process across the Company were 4.68 and 4.66 points, respectively.

Only 19% of the respondents were dissatisfied with the location or opening hours of face-to-face service offices, while the overall rating for that parameter was 4.2 points.

The Company’s customers still inactively use Internet resources: only 11% of all respondents found that channel of communication to be convenient. Telephone communications were chosen by 48% of the respondents and 73% of the respondents personally visit customer service centers (clients could choose more than one channel of communications), while only 9% would prefer mail correspondence.

Still, solely 35% of all respondents know the Company’s website and most of them (87%) are satisfied with the information published on the website and consider it convenient for users.

The Company aims at promoting its Internet Reception as the key information platform for all operations of the Company, submission of requests / calls for grid connections, etc.

A total of 119,817 calls (56%) received by the Company in 2015 are information requests, 34,266 calls are consumer requests with 25,737 being grid connection requests. A total of 41,387 consumers asked about document submission/receipt.

In 2015, PJSC IDGC of the North-West received 1,896 complaints with 1,216 (64%) of them found to be well-grounded. Most of these complaints were about technological connection of the applicant’s facilities to the Company’s grids (55%) and electricity transmission services, including electricity quality (23%). Out of 1,040 grid connection related complaints, 847 complaints were found to be well-grounded (81.4% of all related complaints received). Out of 439 complaints pertaining to the electricity transmission services, 159 complaints were found to be well-grounded (36% of related complaints received).

Additionally to services related to its core operations, PJSC IDGC of the North-West renders additional charged services included in a List of Additional Charged Services approved for each branch.

In 2015, the cost of additional services provided by the Company was RUB 611,938.74 thousand under 6,647 requests.

The ’Dial 8-800 and Connect to Grids in the Comfort of Your Home’ project was fully implemented at all of the Company’s branches in 2015. It involves acceptance of grid connection requests over common telephone number 8-800-333-02-52 and the ’turnkey’ grid connection service.

Automation of the main grid connection processes was improved. It includes the updates of reporting forms and information recording processes in the Additional Charged Services system and improvement of the Request and Complaint Recording system.

The Additional Services portal was launched in the Internet Reception.

Automation of the main grid connection processes was improved. It includes the updates of reporting forms and information recording processes in the Additional Charged Services system and improvement of the Request and Complaint Recording system.

Over hundred services are offered there. These services are out of the Company’s core scope of operations but at the client’s request they can be rendered additionally by the Company’s energy specialists. National standards and regulations are strictly followed at all stages.

Plans for 2016 include:

  • alignment of the consumer service system with the requirements of the Company’s Standard, STo 01.B1.03-2015, Consumer Service Quality Standards at IDGC of the North-West;
  • implementation of the SMS-notification to notify applicants about key grid connection stages.