The key determining factor of customer satisfaction is the convenience they perceive in their contact with us. Immediately after completion of 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.
Customer convenience in consumer and business markets
Customer convenience rated by business customers
In 2022, customer convenience measured by the Net Effort Score (NES), as rated by business customers, came out at 34%, compared with 38% in 2021. This decrease is partly due to a lower rating for contact prompted by service requests. Perceived customer convenience during the establishment of a connection has remained stable, but this figure is under pressure. The challenges here are still difficulties with the connection period and the associated communication.
Customer convenience rated by consumers
Our score for the consumer market stood at 49% in 2022. It was 51% a year earlier. The most important points for attention continue to be the long wait between submission of a request and the work being carried out, and the communication during the intervening period. Lengthier lead times and growing backlogs, due in part to shortages of meters and operational technical staff, contribute to the inconvenience customers perceive.
Nonetheless, we did see some positive developments in 2022, such as the increase in the number of service jobs in the measurement. Somewhat less inconvenience was perceived during remediation jobs and when combined work was carried out.
Sharp rise in number of customer queries
The number of customer queries rose sharply last year. They were mostly about the status of an application, the smart meter and sustainability. The Customer Contact Centre (CCC) handled over 30% more customer queries by phone in 2022 than in 2021. There were 364,361 calls compared to 278,474 in 2021. The effect of this was that telephone access came under substantial pressure and customers experienced a great deal of inconvenience. Access declined at one point to 48%, but improved in the closing months of 2022.
Furthermore, we received over 40,000 customer queries through social media (webcare) in 2022. This also had an impact on the accessibility of the CCC. Improvements have been made in recent months by substantially scaling up capacity. This is reflected in the accessibility and the reduction in work in progress. Improvements have also been made to the ‘frequently asked questions’ page on the Liander website and to the personal communication with our customers to manage expectations about lead times.