Customer convenience in consumer and business markets
The key determining factor of customer satisfaction is the convenience they experience. Immediately after we complete a job, we ask customers for feedback on our services. To express the amount of convenience experienced by customers, we calculate a score – the Net Effort Score, or NES. We calculate the NES by deducting the percentage of customers experiencing some or a lot of difficulty with the service from the percentage of customers finding it easy or very easy. This information gives us insight into the good results we achieve and the areas where improvements still need to be made. The Net Effort Score is updated on a monthly basis on our website at Alliander.com. Customer convenience can come under pressure owing to difficulties completing all the work we have to do, the long waiting times customers face, and the fact that we are not always able to provide the required capacity. Despite this, the figures remained fairly stable.
Customer convenience rated by business customers
In 2019, customer convenience based on the Net Effort Score (NES), as rated by business customers was 33%, compared with 38% in 2018. The connection times for customers are becoming longer, and requests for quotes for solar power generation and the associated feed-in requests are increasing sharply. The increasing number of transmission restrictions is also being met with a lack of understanding. Due to the increase in these requests, it is not possible to process them all within the prescribed deadline. Customers also state that they have to put a lot of effort into getting the answer they are seeking during the implementation process and the follow-up phase.
Providing business customers with good service involves interacting with many other parties (municipalities, contractors, other business parties) and requires a lot of customisation. The associated processes are optimised and digitised; however, due to the fact that the work is more customised than standard, there are fewer opportunities for digitalisation.
Customer convenience rated by consumers
Our customer convenience score for the consumer market stood at 55% in 2019. Despite the problems with completing all the work in the work package, this is higher than in 2018 (50%). This increase is attributable in part to the accessibility of our customer contact centre, as well as the use of new communication channels. The most important points for attention in 2019 were communications in the period between applying for the work to be carried out and this being done, and the long lead times: this is where the customers experience the greatest inconvenience.
Sharp rise in number of customer queries
Customer queries were up 13% compared with 2018. The size and scope of the work package and the energy and heating transition have resulted in customers contacting us more frequently. The Customer Contact Centre mainly received questions about the application process, preventing disconnection, and information requests concerning the process for people without a contract. Customers consult the website primarily for information on outages and connections, or they visit the contact page.
Online customer service
The Liander.nl website was visited more than 2.4 million times in 2019. Satisfaction with our online services was 34%; the score is measured on a monthly basis and is, in general, increasing. The information on outages is especially appreciated. In 2019 we also worked on improving the self-service functions, including for customers who are moving home. We have seen that customers who move home do not always conclude a contract with an energy supplier. We now help these customers with customised advice to help them retain their energy supply, and we offer them real-time insight into the status of their contract request. Other changes on Liander.nl are:
Expansion of the power cut overview to include planned power cuts (for maintenance purposes). The location of the power cut is now also shown on a map.
Decision-making tool for customers considering getting a new connection. By entering a single-use verification code for this function, customers can see which connection they currently have and can compare it with a larger or smaller connection and see a cost estimate for each.
Expanding the Liander webshop with the possibility of changing connections.