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MP electricity distribution company sets example in
the utilities industry with conversations on WhatsApp

Madhya Pradesh Madhya Kshetra Vidyut Vitaran Company Limited (MPMKVVCL) partners with Gupshup to improve access to services for the state’s consumer base

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3.5 million

messages sent monthly

One Third

of the total consumer base of the state

15K to 20K

users engaging with the chatbot daily

The Story

Madhya Pradesh Madhya Kshetra Vidyut Vitaran Company Limited (MPMKVVCL)

MPMKVVCL is one of the 3 Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) in Madhya Pradesh, providing close to 5 mn connections. Faced with movement restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic, MPMKVVCL embarked on an innovative journey of digitalizing customer interactions using chatbots on rich messaging apps.

Challenge

Traditional methods of electricity reading collection and bill distribution were severely impacted during the Covid-19 pandemic
For two months of lockdown, due to stay at home orders and social distancing norms, the feet-on-street agents couldn’t distribute the physical bills. This led to a significant reduction in revenue for MPMKVVCL. During COVID, the customer care operators also couldn’t turn up for duty, and there was no one at the 100 seater call center to take consumer complaints. The DISCOM needed a resilient and efficient communication solution to address customer concerns and maintain service quality.

Objective

Back in 2019, MPMKVVCL started to think about a doing pilot on WhatsApp with 3 primary objectives

01. Creating a channel for Grievance/Complaint submission from consumers and diverting volume from call center

02. Bill distribution, reminders and payments over WhatsApp

03. Awareness campaigns about new government schemes

Solution

MPMKVVCL partnered with Gupshup and strategically adopted WhatsApp for customer conversations

Leveraging features such as chatbots and automated responses. The first use case implemented was to replicate the complaint/grievance workflow of the call center on WhatsApp.

Subsequently, the DISCOM also implemented journeys such as accessing bills,
payment of outstanding due, applying for new or modifying connections, getting answers to
common queries, and more. This move facilitated seamless interactions, allowing consumers to
easily access information and resolve issues.

Promotion

To drive discovery and promote the use of chatbots, MPMKVVCL used multiple tactics

Including regular features in newspapers, awareness campaigns, and encouraging consumers to register complaints through the platform. Consumers sending complaints from IVR and other mediums also were notified through WhatsApp about their complaint status and resolution, which again popularized the channel. This proactive approach significantly increased the adoption rate and positioned MPMKVVCL as a trailblazer in the utilities sector.

Results

Enhanced Customer Satisfaction

The streamlined communication process resulted in improved customer satisfaction, as consumers could easily access information and resolve issues through WhatsApp.

Faster Complaint Filing

Earlier, through IVRs, it took 30 seconds for registered users and above 1 minute for unregistered/non-paying customers to file a complaint, now after WhatsApp implementation, it got reduced to under 5 seconds. The utility’s commitment to technology-driven solutions contributed to faster issue registration, even in the absence of a physical call center.

Lesser reliance on Call Center

Because of WhatsApp’s addition, the DISCOM could handle unforeseen events such as COVID when the support agents couldn’t report to duty and the bot could handle workload of close to 100 agents.

Pioneering Role

MPMKVVCL became the first utilities company in India to integrate WhatsApp as a communication channel, setting a new standard for the industry.

First-in-India Payment Integration

MPMKVVCL achieved a significant milestone by implementing the first WhatsApp based payment integration in India. Users can now seamlessly pay bills with a single click within the WhatsApp chatbot.

Future Possibilities

MPMKVVCL is exploring additional features such as Native Payment on WhatsApp

Agent Assist for seamless customer service, and the integration of surveys through WhatsApp to gather valuable feedback.

“In collaboration with Gupshup, MPMKVVCL successfully navigated the challenges of bill distribution and other disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic through the integration of WhatsApp. We take pride in being pioneers in India, leveraging chatbots for seamless complaint filing, efficient bill distribution, and smooth payment integration.”
Abhishek Martand
General Manager Information Technology, MPMKVVCL