The Challenge

Pacific Northern Gas Ltd. (PNG) owns and operates a natural gas transmission and distribution system in west-central British Columbia. It is PNG’s goal to fulfill the energy needs of customers in the safest, most reliable and most efficient manner while achieving high customer satisfaction. In keeping with their goal of achieving high customer satisfaction, PNG engaged Propel Solutions to identify areas of opportunity within the Care Centre to enhance their ability to meet customer’s changing demands. The goal of the project was to standardize the process that were created within the team, using the employee’s own developed best practices to support the organization in its growth.

The Objective

Propel conducted a 14-week transformation of Pacific Northern Gas’ key Customer Care operations:

  • Process Review: Propel conducted a comprehensive review of the current processes within the Customer Care team. Working with key stakeholders, our consultants mapped six processes in their current states. Propel conducted process observations with 12 of the Customer Service Representatives and facilitated process map critiques with the entire team to identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Develop Method Changes: Over 66 method changes were developed that would increase communications throughout the department, provide customers with improved service delivery and ensure Customer Service Processes that are efficient, effective and scalable for continued growth.
  • Management Tools: Propel led a review of the current state of call centre agents and resource requirements based on historical incoming calls. An Erlang C schedule was developed which allows management to plan based on historical forecasts of incoming calls throughout the year. The scheduling tool allows management to appropriately staff call agents daily in accordance with service levels. The plan provides visibility into staffing needs and minimizes risk of scheduling issues due to unavailable resources.
  • Daily Reporting of Results: In working with Propel, PNG was able to outline Service Level Agreements for the Care Centre to help measure daily performance against the expectations set out based on quality, productivity, and schedule attainment. Daily Operating Reports were installed to communicate results back to the staff, and upper management on a daily, weekly, and yearly basis.

The Results

The Business Process review has given Pacific Northern Gas the ability to improve their customer service goals by building accountability though defining roles and responsibilities. The Erlang C scheduling tool has allowed the department to create a more nimble environment, adapting to the day to day needs of the customers. With the process implementation, management is more involved in the day to day operations though daily huddles and the daily operating report. Management is also working proactively to manage the incoming work load by tracking variances to schedules and problems, enabling PNG to instill a culture of continuous improvement that is always working towards better customer service and value.

Processes Mapped
Process Participants
Method Changes Developed