Jasco Enterprise has upgraded Eskom’s national contact centre infrastructure with the latest Avaya technology, which will contribute significantly to the Eskom strategy of continuous improvement of their service to their customers.
Eskom provide customer service to its Small Medium Enterprise (SME) customer base and residential consumers in South Africa through their seven virtualised regional centres contact centres based around the country. The infrastructure is also utilised to provide customer care services to other target groups within Eskom.
“As a critical utility service provider for 4.9m customers, our customers use our contact centres for fault reporting, queries as well as billing services. It is the primary channel for communication and is supplemented by our walk-in centres. The contact centre also services our internal staff requirements for human resources, information technology, procurement and finance,” explains Bruce Coetzee, Senior Consultant: Customer Services at Eskom.
He says Eskom’s call volumes are approximately 6.5m per year. The contact centres support seven regional languages and many service categories.
“As our customer base continued to grow, effective customer relationship management with dated technology resources became a challenge. We were looking for a solution that integrates, measures and reports on all our communications channels, including new channels such as social media and instant messaging. Furthermore, we needed the ability to scale for future growth requirements. Risk was also a growing concern for us. Contractually, we needed to ensure that we are aligned with the latest voice recording technologies and data recovery practices,” says Coetzee.
Coetzee adds that Eskom did not want to move away from the Avaya brand and after approaching several solution providers, Jasco Enterprise was the strongest contender with the right mix of contact centre integration skills and the capacity to deliver.
According to Paul Fick, Divisional MD at Jasco Enterprise, Eskom has been very forward thinking in terms of using technology to provide world-class service to its customers.
“The combination of Avaya and the new Work Force Optimisation platform constitutes a complete solution with integrated workforce management, voice transaction management and speech analytics as well as a realistic upgrade path going forward. It was a good fit with Eskom’s vision of world-class customer service delivery,” he adds.
All call logging, customer information management and reporting is now centralised and contact centre managers have access to real time customer interaction information. This allows them to respond immediately and do more effective resource planning to efficiently deal with customer queries when there are service interruptions.
“Over and above the superior functionality that Avaya provides, we realise that today most consumers use their mobile phones to call the contact centre. We introduced a call on hold functionality, which gives the customer the choice for the contact centre to dial the customer back without losing their position in the queue,” says Fick.
Another addition to Eskom’s drive for improved service delivery is its call survey option. Customers have the choice to rate the service they receive from Eskom in real-time, allowing contact centre managers to assess how well agents are servicing customers.
“This has proved particularly useful when tailoring specific services and forms part of Eskom’s customer centricity drive. It allows them to respond a lot quicker, manage agents better, and gives them the ability to react a lot faster in a crisis situation. On the flip side, this also gives Eskom the opportunity to reward agents that are at the coalface of our organisation,” he says.
Fick says another key focus for Eskom was the effective management of proactive outbound contact, such as SMS notification services, which informs customers when there are service interruptions, as well as inbound communications, linking customer queries directly to their profile. The outbound SMS service was previously done outside of the contact centre, but is no brought into the contact centre and integrated in support of the vision of having a single view of customers.
“As part of our contract, Jasco will continue to support and maintain Eskom’s contact centre as well as fulfil our enterprise development agreements. We have partnered with black economic empowerment companies to service remote areas such as Polokwane and East London. This has proved to be very successful, in addition to our sponsoring of six trainee university graduates to up-skill them and bring them into the fold” concludes Fick.