At Towngas, a customer focus team (CFT), composed of senior management and front-line personnel, regularly visits housing estates in Hong Kong, collecting customer feedback on products and services. One of many suggestions received was that the company should make regular safety inspections of homes. The resulting programme has enhanced customer satisfaction, while at the same time reducing requests for maintenance.
On another occasion, customers expressed their dislike of meters being read unexpectedly. Towngas designed a procedure to let customers report meter readings on the same date every month - saving the need for an inspector to call.
Founded in 1862, Hong Kong & China Gas Company today supplies 1.3 million residential and commercial customers with gas. But it has also diversified into related areas, such as providing consultancy for business, and developing appliances for new functions, such as clothes dryers and dehumidifiers for the residential market. The company's sterling record of customer service has won it our overseas award, ahead of the other finalist, AMI Insurance of New Zealand.
Towngas has introduced a same-day installation and maintenance service, as well as a 24-hour customer service hotline. It has also launched Hong Kong's first virtual customer centre, which enables customers to book a maintenance visit online. Customer orientation extends to a dedicated customer complaints coordinator, and the telephone is always answered by a human being, albeit one who speaks English, Mandarin and Cantonese.
Each year, the company holds a Customer Service Week to promote customer service to staff, as well as a Quality Day, where employees share success stories. Those who win an Outstanding Employee award are enrolled in the Towngas Strategy Ambassador Club.