Aug. 2014—Efficient customer service is critical to success for Pakistan’s power utilities. These utilities bear responsibility to provide continuous, accurate and reliable service to their customers.
At utility field offices, there are no dedicated customer service representatives. Personnel are assigned to man the windows for a few hours and then they return to other duties. Hence, there is little or no continuity in resolving customer issues. Manual and inefficient processes require customers to visit multiple offices to get issues resolved with considerable time lag, resulting in customer frustration and poor satisfaction. A survey conducted by USAID revealed that the customer satisfaction rate was below 50 percent.
Recognizing the need for improvement, the USAID Power Distribution Program established a one-window customer service center (CSC) with improved procedures at the Musa Pak division of the Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO) in February 2014. The facility, located near Wapda Town in Multan, provides a place to address consumer concerns like excess and incorrect billing, extensions and installments for bill payment, and replacing defective meters.
“The one-window CSC has remarkably improved the complaint turnaround time from over two days to less than 30 minutes, and our customer satisfaction rate has increased from 43 percent to above 90 percent,” said Malik Imtiaz Ahmad, additional customer services director, MEPCO, adding that the company’s image has improved in the process.
MEPCO serves a total of 4.3 million customers, with over 143,000 in the Musa Pak division. The new customer service center has provided service to over 8,000 Musa Pak customers in the last six months. MEPCO plans to expand this project to other division offices in Multan Circle with USAID assistance.
USAID also provided the Musa Pak division offices and Bosan Road subdivision with tools to help implement and operate a customer information system, currently under development. Under the system, all data will be located in a single database that can be accessed by utility employees to respond to customer questions. The system will further streamline billing and the process for setting up new connections.
The five-year USAID Power Distribution Program, which began in 2010, works jointly with government-owned power distribution companies in Pakistan to improve their performance through revenues, customer service and reduced losses. As part of this program, the United States has funded renovations at Tarbela, Jamshoro, Mangla, Guddu and Muzaffargarh power plants, aided the completion of Gomal Zam and Satpara Dams, and helped improve power distribution throughout the country. These efforts have already added more than 1,000 megawatts of power to Pakistan’s power system.
U.S. Government energy sector assistance in Pakistan aims to increase electricity output throughout the country by adding an expected cumulative total of 1,400 megawatts to Pakistan’s national power grids by the end of 2014, benefiting about 16 million people.
Last updated: October 21, 2014