Utility companies are not usually very popular with the public, especially when it comes to customer service.
However, there is one that outshines all others in this regard. St Vincent Electricity Services Limited (VINLEC), winner of the Best of SVG award for customer service, not only takes pride in providing 44,000 homes and businesses with a reliable electricity supply, but also places emphasis on the customer service experience.
VINLECâs efforts have been very rewarding, according to Communications officer Tamara Job-Sprott. âElectricity is really the driving force of any economy. I think that the reliability of the service is really what a lot of persons look forward to. We know that persons have high expectations of us, such that if power goes for as short as five minutes, we get a number of calls at our emergency section. It really tells that persons are not used to having electricity out for extended periods, and so we strive to provide quality and reliable electricity supply, and I think that because we do this in a very good way, persons are able to rate us as best customer service.â
It is no accident that VINLEC, operating since the 1930âs, manages to be so efficient. Independent surveys are conducted annually to measure customer satisfaction. Job-Sprott outlined that long established company protocols, coupled with the pride that employees take in their work, enables the company to serve its customers with excellence.
âPeople traditionally see the customer service area because they come into the offices to pay bills and for persons who would have to interact with our meter readers or our linesmen, they see those as the faces of VINLEC. But the company is really intertwined. One thing cannot happen without the other. There are a number of persons who work in the background, who work just as hard, and who are able to group together with these people we see on the frontline to produce this excellent service that we give.â
VINLECâs stellar customer service goes beyond providing a stable supply of power. Persons interacting with the company are assured of a pleasant experience, whether at the Paulâs Avenue headquarters, by telephone, or through social media platforms.
At the bill payment section, the wait is never as long as the line. The goal is to deal with each customer in one minute or less. There is a separate section were customers can make queries so that they can avoid a long wait. The 24-hour emergency service number, 456-1540, is also a Whatâs App number, which customers are encouraged to use to report any issues or to make queries.
VINLEC has also kept pace with technology. The company is on Facebook and Twitter and customers have been responding well to its presence on these social media platforms. Additionally, there is the website, www.vinlec.com, where customers may register to check their bill balance, receive email notifications of their bills, and track their consumption patterns. Persons wishing to access this service can sign up at the main office. Identification and the most recent bill is required for registration.
Job-Sprott said that VINLEC is honoured to receive the award, adding that it motivates them to strive for greater excellence.
âThis award is actually from the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines and I think it speaks volumes. It shows that persons are really appreciative of our work; they respect our work; they respect our employees. We are not going to sit back because we have received this award. I think it is pushing us to do even better. Our employees are pleased, the management of the company is pleased as well and we are really happy that people have given us this award; so, thank you very much to the people of this country.â