Web System Monitors Quality of Service for 24 Million Egyptian Electricity Consumers
The Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency (EgyptEra) was established to regulate, supervise, and control electric power activities, including generation and distribution. After a successful pilot programme, it chose Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 to monitor complaints and service requests to all nine electricity distribution companies (EDCs) nationwide, serving up to 24 million consumers.
EgyptEra is responsible for the protection of consumers’ interests. To investigate complaints, EgyptEra set up a unified web-based quality of service system called EgyptEra-QSS. It has now been developed and comprises several modules designed to offer different highly responsive services to electricity consumers.
The first phase of this system is a complaint module, which is already implemented at Cairo South Electricity Distribution Company, which provides electricity to more than 4 million consumers. The system helps consumers to file a complaint at any time and from anywhere through a hotline phone number, or by other methods including by email, fax, or post.
The system ensures immediate reception of the complaint, and directs it to the relevant department within the EDC, generating a unique identifier for each complaint. It also specifies a reasonable time for resolution and sets a pre-defined policy for different levels of escalation of delayed complaints. The system communicates with consumers by email or text message to notify them of the progress of their complaints.
The regulatory agency took advantage of the Egypt Government Enterprise Subscription Agreement for volume licensing and Open License with low-cost government prices. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 is the primary product in the solution. This is supported by Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise data management software, Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise operating system, and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 communication and collaboration server. The agency is also using several different versions of Microsoft Office as well as Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP for the desktops.
Elsayed Mansour, General Manager of the Information Centre and Documentation General Department, Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency is the Project Manager for EgyptEra-QSS. He says: “Because of our existing business partnership with Microsoft, we went straight to Microsoft Dynamics CRM rather than spending time evaluating other technology.”
According to Mansour, the Microsoft licensing arrangements are highly cost effective. He says: “The agency makes use of the rigid relationships between the departments of EDCs and the regional private branch exchange (PBX) departments of the national telephone company to ensure correct routing of calls to the right department of the relevant EDC.”
Microsoft Services was responsible for the design, development, and implementation of the CRM solution at Cairo South Electricity Distribution Company. Its involvement made customer contact with the organisation simpler, helped internal departments improve customer relations, and resulted in reduced operating costs.
LINK Development and Microsoft worked to customise Microsoft Dynamics CRM to create workflows and escalation procedures for complaint handling, as well as in defining specifications. Ahmed El Gammal, Senior Business Application Consultant, LINK Development, says: “The CRM technology captures the details of the complaint at the EDC.” The LINK Development customisation work includes all the elements agencies expect from a complaint and correspondence system such as automated response emails with Exchange Server 2010, integrated template and document handling, and an audit trail. In addition, there is full reporting with SQL Server 2008 R2, and provision for multiple methods of customer contact, including by text message or over the web.
The technology offers significant economies of scale by managing two key streams of work—complaint handling and generating key performance indicators—in a single system to help evaluate and improve the performance of the nine EDCs in Egypt.
Manages customer complaints effectively. Mansour says: “The key benefits of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM project so far have been accurate record keeping and the key performance indicators issued by the system for the distribution companies. They’re helping companies with in-depth analysis of the reasons for complaints, which in turn reduces resolution time.”
Extends quality of service monitoring. The decision to launch phase two of the project will mean that eventually every business and household in Egypt will benefit from the same service.
Improves monitoring of complaints. The developed system has proved effective in monitoring and evaluating the quality of service. Reduced complaint resolution time has enhanced consumer satisfaction. It also offers a good infrastructure to enhance and expand services offered to customers.
Benefits from increased sales. The new CRM system, which has led to faster complaint resolution and improved customer satisfaction is in turn boosting sales prospects.
Makes service accessible through multiple channels. Mansour says: “The agency was keen to help consumers file their complaints or service requests at any time and from anywhere, directly to the company through multiple channels. They can follow progress of their complaints using case numbers.”
Takes fact-based view of performance. The CRM software is helping the regulatory agency take an objective fact-based view of distribution companies’ performance by using the different statistical and key performance indicators reports it generates.