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Catalyzing the conversation on treating customers better in Bangladesh

We were pleased to receive front-page coverage for our dissemination event in the business section of the leading English language newspaper in Bangladesh. The Chairman of the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission, Mr A.R. Khan, was the chief guest and participated in the entirety of the event, which stretched over four hours.

In the concluding discussion, we were very happy to see energetic debate among the participating senior officials from the electricity distribution companies and the mobile operators. As a catalyst, the best we can expect is that we get these conversations started. It is now upto the Bangladesh stakeholder, assisted as feasible by BERC, to continue the conversation and mobilize the potential of ICTs, especially the ubiquitous mobile phones, to devise ways of treating the long-suffering customers better.

About 80 percent of micro-entrepreneurs find no point in registering complaints with local electricity distributors when they encounter any problem, a new study found.

The research by Sri Lanka-based LIRNEasia and Dhaka-based pi Strategy Consulting said a small percentage of micro-entrepreneurs said they do not know how to contact the utility service providers, while a few said they were too scared to complain.

Titled ‘Improving CRM Practices in Electricity Sector’, the study examined the customer relationship management (CRM) practices of electricity and telecom sectors in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.

The survey, which ran between October 2012 and January 2013, covered 3,180 micro-enterprises: 1,279 in India, 915 in Bangladesh and 986 in Sri Lanka. Additionally, services providers were included in the survey.

It said the most challenging task in CRM is perhaps complaint management and recommended that local electricity distributors improve the quality of their customer services by embracing experiences of telecom operators.

The presentations of the event are below.

Welcome and introductions – Helani Galpaya

Consumers in the doldrums – Rohan Samaraiva

Telecom sector supply-side_perspective – Roshanthi Lucas Gunaratne

Electricity Sector supply-side perspective – Pial Islam

Stories from the field – Helani Galpaya

Ways Forward: Suggestions for improvement in Telecom Sector – Roshanthi Lucas Gunaratne

Ways Forward: Suggestions for improvement in Electricity Sector – Pial Islam

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