Customer Awareness and Education
The total length of the power lines owned by ČEZ Distribuce is nearly 155,000 kilometers. That’s nearly enough to go around the Earth four times. Providing information on the precise geographic location and parameters of such an extensive network was extremely timeintensive for the companies ČEZ Distribuce and ČEZ ICT Services. Therefore, a project team consisting of representatives of ČEZ, ČEZ Distribuce, ČEZ ICT Services, and ČEZ Zákaznické služby set about optimizing this state of affairs. The result is a modular system operating primarily with data in a geographic information system, that from the customer’s perspective appears as a self-service web portal. That portal is incorporated into the websites of ČEZ and ČEZ Distribuce. The project, entitled “Geoportál”, commenced operation in late 2011. You can find it at the address http://geoportal.cez.cz.
ČEZ Prodej decided to capture its customer’s attention in an interesting new way. In November 2011, it began publishing an entire new lifestyle – product magazine entitled Juice (Štáva), which replaced the previous publication Orange Guide (Oranžový průvodce). By the end of November, the first issue of the new magazine had been delivered to the mailboxes of all retail customers. Then, from December, it was made available in the Customer Centers as well. At the same time, an on-line version of the magazine was launched on the web. In recognition of its effectiveness, Šťáva magazine won a Special Award in the Golden Semicolon 2011 corporate periodicals competition organized by PR Klub. The jury’s award for effectiveness has been part of the competition since 2010, and the principal deciding factor is feedback from the magazine’s readers (i.e., how the magazine is received by readers – whether the magazine fulfilled the purpose for which it was created and for which it is distributed to customers).
The unfair practices of some door-to-door salespeople are a long-standing problem for CEZ Group. Not everyone (by far) who does business in the power sector respects the principle of fair play. Therefore, in 2010, CEZ Group published a brochure for its customers, in which it explains how to recognize a dishonest door-to-door salesperson, and how to resist his or her “hard sell”. The brochure is designed to protect senior citizens, who constitute the group most at risk in this respect. Among other things, the brochure lists the ten signs of less-than-upright methods. From early 2010, we began to see a rise in the number of cases when door-to-door salespeople fraudulently posed as employees of ČEZ and offered “advantageous” contracts to optimize people’s electricity and gas bills. Customers themselves reported the fraudsters to the ČEZ Customer Line. Every month, we receive around 70 complaints concerning the behavior of door-to-door salespeople. Therefore, CEZ Group is currently readying a second edition of the Ten Signs brochure.
CEZ Group has also published a newspaper entitled Uninvited Guest (Nezvaný host), which was delivered free to customers’ mailboxes. Visitors to CEZ Group’s website can also find information about the dishonest practices at the address http://www.cez.cz/cs/pro-media/tiskove-zpravy/2867.html or http://www.cez.cz/cs/pro-media/tiskove-zpravy/3040.html. Another way we are warning customers of these practices is through a direct mail campaign. In addition to just a warning, the letter offers assistance in the event a disadvantageous contract has already been signed, but the customer has changed his or her mind and wants to remain with CEZ Group.
Customers of alternative suppliers are writing about their experiences on the Internet. You can read about how the companies that intermediate the door-to-door sales work on some of the blogs dealing with this topic – such as varovani.blog.cz.
Should customers have any questions regarding door-to-door sales, they can call the ČEZ infoline at 840 840 840 or send their question via e-mail to the address email@example.com.
CEZ Group also organizes various events for its customers, such as a meeting in the Plzeňský Prazdroj brewery.
“When someone says Pilsen, you immediately think of two things: ČEZ Logistika in Skladová Street, and then Pilsner beer, of course. Therefore, we joined these two things together and we are pleased that you accepted our invitation to Plzeňský Prazdroj,” said Vladimír Špiler at the introduction of the meeting between ČEZ Logistika, Region West, with external customers that took place on October 13, 2011.