Thursday 26 November, 2020

OUR moves to standardise service within JPS, NWC call centres

The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has moved to standardise the customer satisfaction standards that are measured by the customer contact centres (call centres) operated by the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS) and the National Water Commission (NWC).

In a release, the OUR said it recognises that call centres are an integral part of customer service delivered by the utility providers, as they are one of the main channels through which customers interact with the companies.

The regulatory agency said based on its review of the call centre standards that are currently being measured by the JPS and the NWC, neither entity currently measures all the established standards or key performance indicators (KPIs) that assess customer satisfaction.

In an effort to ensure that the JPS and NWC provide and maintain an acceptable level of service through their call centres, the OUR has now standardised the parameters that must be measured, which, by extension, is expected to improve customer satisfaction.

The OUR said the quality of service parameters and decisions relating to the implementation were arrived at following a consultation process, and are contained in a determination notice entitled, “Enhancing Customer Satisfaction through Customer Contact Centre Standards for the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited and the National Water Commission,” which took effect on October 1, 2020

The decisions include the following:

-              JPS shall, within four months of the effective date of the determination notice, include performance on average talk time in its quarterly call centre report submissions to the OUR.

-              NWC shall continue to include speed of answer, call abandonment rate and percentage service level in their quarterly call centre report submission.

-              JPS and NWC shall, within four months of the date of the determination notice, commence measuring and reporting on average talk time and call handing time, respectively, and the NWC shall reduce its speed of answer performance target to 20 seconds.

-              The OUR has defined first call resolution rate as being “a customer’s complaint or issue being resolved/solved at the first point of contact with the call centre.” JPS and NWC are to fully implement the agreed measurement and reporting of first call resolution rate within 12 months of the determination notice.

-              In addition to the regular submission of their analyses of call centre reports, JPS and NWC should now also submit to the OUR, the full reports from the call centres.

The OUR reports on JPS and NWC call centre standards in its quarterly performance reports. These, as well as the OUR’s determination notice on enhancing customer satisfaction through customer contact centre standards for the JPS and NWC, can be found on its website:            

 In February 2019, the OUR issued a consultation document to the public and stakeholders, inviting comments on the enhancement of customer satisfaction, with specific emphasis on call centre standards/key performance indicators (KPIs).  The consultation focused only on the call centres for JPS and NWC since similar issues have already been addressed for the telecommunications sector through the quality of service standards being promulgated.

The feedback from the consultation process informed OUR’s decisions on improving the quality of service offered by JPS and NWC call centres.

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