The Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC), the organisation responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Swaziland, has selected Sage CRM as a business enabler to help streamline their operations and customer service divisions. Sage Premier Partner AccTech Systems was selected as the technology partner for the project.
“Whilst SEC has always managed the technical challenges related to the supply of electricity with several cutting-edge systems, the application process for electricity connection and supply was predominantly a manual process,” says Bongani Ntshangase, Marketing & Commercial Manager for SEC. “Paper application forms were completed at the various branches after which they were sent to the Marketing office in Manzini for processing. These forms were not stored in any kind of electronic format until the electricity service was ready to be connected. As a result our customers would receive up to six different reference numbers as they go through the electricity connection and supply process,” says Ntshangase.
SEC’s customer call centre at their head office in Manzini was faced with some challenges as a result of their manual paper processes. Says Ntshangase: “The lack of visibility of the customer information meant it was extremely difficult for our call centre agents to effectively manage and process cases relating to applications or electricity outages and notifications of illegal activities such as cable theft and illegal connections. At SEC one of our core values is Service Excellence and with the help of AccTech Systems and Sage CRM we will be able to live up to this value.”
“The national energy regulator established a new set of standards which SEC has to comply to,” says Tertius Zitzke, Chief Executive Officer at AccTech Systems. “These standards together with a new Customer Service Charter has set SEC a stringent set of targets in relation to customer service, query resolution, speed of electricity supply and outage management. Once fully deployed Sage CRM will assist SEC to pro-actively ensure that these standards and service levels are conformed to and it will allow SEC to accurately report on their performance against these various standards and service levels,” says Zitzke.
Sage CRM was implemented as a single access point for all information relating to a specific customer. “Information from the billing, prepaid, ERP, GIS, Outage Management and Receipting systems will be integrated into Sage CRM in order to provide the call centre with full visibility of the customer lifecycle. Sage CRM will also be the entry point for the capturing all new customer data directly at the branches, eliminating the need for manual application forms,” says Ntshangase.
“Environmental concerns are obviously top of mind for organisations at the moment,” says Zitzke. “With Sage CRM, SEC is now at the forefront of this movement as all manual paper forms are being removed from the branches. Customer details will be captured electronically and customer signatures will be obtained via electronic signature pads. This also contributes to significant improvements in accuracy and turnaround time.”
“Customer Relationship Management, or CRM Systems have always been about sales force automation, marketing automation and customer care, but today’s CRM systems do much more than these traditional three pillars,” says Zitzke. “The technology trend of xRM means the customers aren’t the only entities that are managed by traditional CRM systems. The relationship stretches across the entire channel including customers, suppliers and employees. xRM applications become the central point of reference for the entire organisation and drives business efficiency across the board,” says Zitzke.
Ntshangase concludes: “AccTech Systems proved itself as a vendor who was able to quickly understand our requirements and was able to translate this into an effective set of system processes. Their experience, together with the low total cost of ownership of Sage CRM means that we can now deliver customer service of the highest international standards allowing us to deliver on our slogan’s promise being electricity for the future.”