Call cen­tre scores an ‘A’

Pos­i­tive sur­vey con­tra­dicts del­uge of res­i­dents’ com­plaints

The Witness - - FRONT PAGE - NOKUTHULA NTULI

EX­CEL­LENT.

That’s the rat­ing the Msun­duzi call cen­tre agents have re­ceived in a re­cent in-house sur­vey on the con­duct of its em­ploy­ees when han­dling ratepay­ers’ com­plaints. This is de­spite the on­go­ing out­cry about the lack of ser­vice from the con­tro­ver­sial call cen­tre.

Op­po­si­tion par­ties cried foul at news of the favourable rat­ing, slam­ming it as flawed.

In­stead, they want an in­de­pen­dent sur­vey to be com­mis­sioned to gauge the per­for­mance of the call cen­tre.

The Wit­ness has re­ported ex­ten­sively on the com­plaints from both coun­cil­lors and ratepay­ers about the dif­fi­cul­ties they face when at­tempt­ing to con­tact the City’s call cen­tre. Of­ten, res­i­dents and coun­cil­lors com­plained that the phones rang unan­swered and some ratepay­ers ac­cused the call cen­tre agents of not for­ward­ing their mat­ters to the rel­e­vant de­part­ments and drop­ping calls mid-con­ver­sa­tion.

In Au­gust, the Batho Pele sub-unit con­ducted a small scale ser­vice qual­ity as­sess­ment — of 80 cases — to de­ter­mine the stan­dard of ser­vice that cus­tomers re­ceived when they con­tacted the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­cently re­leased re­port, the as­sess­ment aimed to find out cus­tomers’ per­cep­tions on how City em­ploy­ees treated them when they phoned Msun­duzi and the man­ner in which re­ports about the in­ter­rup­tion of mu­nic­i­pal ser­vices were han­dled “to the sat­is­fac­tion of the cus­tomer”.

The re­port by the City’s man­ager for com­mu­ni­ca­tions and in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal re­la­tions, Thobeka Ma­fum­batha, said tele­phonic in­ter­views were con­ducted where cus­tomers were asked about the treat­ment they re­ceived from the agent and whether the prob­lem they were com­plain­ing about was ad­dressed. The as­sess­ment re­vealed that 90% of the 80 cus­tomers in­ter­viewed were sat­is­fied with the con­duct of the em­ploy­ees dur­ing the re­port­ing process of their com­plaint.

“Cus­tomers’ feed­back points out that their phone calls were an­swered within five rings thus in line with the ser­vice stan­dards as pre­scribed in the cus­tomer ser­vice char­ter,” said Ma­fum­batha.

While the call cen­tre em­ploy­ees re­ceived a rat­ing of ex­cel­lent on their con­duct, Ma­fum­batha said this was a de­crease from a 96% score from a sur­vey con­ducted in July.

On the ser­vice de­liv­ery stan­dards the City re­ceived an “av­er­age”, as only 59% of the 80 com­plaints were found to have been at­tended to and re­solved to the cus­tomers’ sat­is­fac­tion, while 21 cases were still un­re­solved.

The wa­ter depart­ment at­tended 55% of 20 cases re­ported at the call cen­tre dur­ing the pe­riod sur­veyed. This was a de­cline from 85% achieved in July. Road and trans­porta­tion also failed to sur­pass the 40% achieved in July as only 10% of the cases were re­solved.

The elec­tric­ity depart­ment also ex­pe­ri­enced a 10% de­cline as they at­tended 80% of the cases that were re­ferred to them by the call cen­tre.

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