Enhancing customer experience

FY16 SUMMARY

  • Serviced over 5 million customers across Australia and the USA
  • Focused on our Customer Promises to ‘Make it easy’, ‘Show we care’ and ‘Add value’
  • Communicated the time-saving benefits of Transurban roads to customers
  • Completed major website improvements, released a Transurban mobile app and continued with communications via social media, TV and radio
  • Extended our network of over-the-counter partners to improve customer service
  • Undertook a number of customer engagement initiatives including customer research and focus groups to better understand our customers
  • Improved our processes to help customers avoid fees, penalties, account suspension and infringements through increased outbound communications (email, SMS and phone calls)
  • Introduced a service excellence education program for all customer teams
  • Refreshed and promoted the Group’s Hardship Policy to further assist our customers

Our Customers

Transurban has more than 5 million customers using our roads and accessing multiple tolling products and services. Our customers comprise approximately 30% corporate customers and 70% retail customers.

Transurban’s customer service, tolling and account management are provided under different retail brands in each region:

  • CityLink in Melbourne

  • Roam and Roam Express in Sydney

  • The go via network in Brisbane

  • E-ZPass in Virginia1

         
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1 E-ZPass in Virginia is administered by the Virginia Department of Transport (VDOT), not by Transurban.



GRI G4 Indicators

  • Product and service labelling DMA
  • Customer privacy DMA
  • Marketing communications DMA
  • PR5

Customer service

Customer promises

We aim to provide our customers with a great customer experience, underpinned by our three promises to Make it easy, Show we care and Add value.

In FY16, we worked on many initiatives to deliver on our customer promises:

  • To make it easy for our customers, we provided simpler account management options including improved website, mobile options and expanded retail partnerships
  • To show we care, we implemented new procedures for proactive communication with our customers including ‘account health checks’ and improved notification processes to help avoid fees and penalties
  • To add value, we communicated the time-saving benefits of using our toll roads in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Greater Washington Area. We also highlighted the value customers can receive by opening an account with us and making use of our different service channels

Initiatives to meet these customer promises are detailed within the tolling and customer account management section of this report.

Customer satisfaction scorecard

We currently operate Customer Call Centre and Customer Care operations in Manila, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Greater Washington Area.

Each of our retail brands are required to meet high service standards that are set out by the customer charters of each brand. This includes measures of our ability to resolve customer queries on the first call (‘First Call Resolution’) and our response time to calls (‘Grading of Service’ - calls answered within 30 seconds).

In addition to metrics for call centre response, we closely monitor customer satisfaction and feedback. Our Voice of the Customer program involves surveying customers who have interacted with our call centre. This includes two key measures: Customer Satisfaction, which rates our customer service agents’ knowledge and friendliness and Customer Effort, which assesses how easy it is to do business with us.

A summary of our retail brands’ performance# in FY16 is shown below: 

 

Overall

CityLink

CityLink Commercial

Roam

Roam Express

Go via

First Call Resolution (%)

95.4

98.3

97.7

97.6

90.0

93.7

Grading of Service (%)
(target 70%)

74.8

73.0

76.6

77.4

79.5

74.3

Customer Satisfaction
(out of 5)*

3.9

3.9

3.8

3.6

4.0

3.9

Customer Effort
(out of 5)*

3.5

3.5

3.5

3.5

3.5

3.5

# E-ZPass is not included here as it is administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation
* CityLink and CityLink Commercial figures represent the full FY16. Other retail brands represent only a partial year as these ratings were introduced as standard metrics for those retail brands during FY16.

Service Leadership program

Transurban understands that the leaders of our business have a considerable impact on the service our customers receive and how engaged our employees are. In 2016, we invested in a Service Leadership program to provide specific professional development for leaders in our Australian customer operations teams. The program has helped embed a culture of service excellence and create customer-centric teams.

As well as helping our leaders identify customers’ needs and expectations, they were also given the authority to empower their teams in driving and delivering on our customer promises to ‘Make it easy’, ‘Be fair’ and ‘Add value’.

Service Excellence program

Supporting the Service Leadership program, a Service Excellence program was also delivered to all customer-facing employees in our Australian offices. The program focused on improving understanding of customers and enhancing related skills to better serve our broad customer base.

Our customer promises were launched as a part of this program and employees developed and implemented action plans to bring these promises to life.

Digital services and additional retail locations

Mobile apps

In FY16, Transurban launched a mobile app for our Express Lanes customers in Greater Washington Area, with an iPhone app for CityLink customers in Victoria to be released in early FY17, to be followed by New South Wales and Queensland.

The apps enable customers to access their account information on-the-go to address the growing transition from desktop to mobile use. More than half of our customers now access their accounts on mobile devices. To support our focus on road safety, Transurban reminds our customers that apps should not be accessed while they are driving. The apps have prominent alerts to discourage this.

 

Australian retail locations

In FY16, we continued to expand our partnerships with retail outlets to give customers more locations to take care of a range of transactions such as account top-ups, toll invoice payments and pre-paid pass purchases.

Transurban customers now have the option to manage their tolling accounts over-the-counter at over 3,600 individual locations including Australian Federation of Newsagents, 7-Eleven convenience stores, Puma Energy and United petrol stations across Australia. Transurban supports these retail partners by providing ongoing education about point-of-sale transactions, advertising and customer communications.

Customer engagement and research

We undertake a range of customer engagement and research projects across our markets to provide insights into customers’ travel preferences, how their experiences in managing their tolls and accounts can be improved, and how we can better communicate the benefits and value of using our roads.

In FY16, our Customer Engagement Program in Australia focused on increasing our understanding of customers’ expectations. Through face-to-face consultation, call centre evaluation, market research and customer data analysis, we identified a number of opportunities which are now being addressed, including:

  • Giving control to customers by promoting their ability to determine the amounts for their account top-ups and when they are made
  • Keeping customers more informed by proactively notifying them of account balances and prompting top-ups
  • Making it easier for customers to update their details (e.g. when buying a new car or changing their address)
  • Proactively matching customers’ travel patterns with the products that best suit their needs
  • Making it simpler for casual customers to pay a toll

In addition to this, we have also run extensive customer focus groups with over 60 per cent of Transurban employees to share their own experiences as Transurban customers.

Express Lanes testimonials

We regularly review data on the time savings that the 495 and 95 Express Lanes provide and also seek direct feedback from our customers on the real-life benefit of the Express Lanes.

In FY16, Transurban USA ran a customer testimonial campaign where customers spoke about how they benefitted from using the lanes. Ten customers were interviewed about their experiences. See a compilation of the customer testimonial videos below and more about the testimonials on the Express Lanes website.

Tolling and customer account management

In FY16, we introduced initiatives to improve customer account management options in Australia by providing more information on tolling and payments processes and working more closely with customers that may have difficulties with unpaid tolls, fines or penalties.  Our intent is to prevent and resolve these issues before they escalate.

Approximately 95 per cent of customers on our roads pay for their travel within the required timeframe. Transurban aims to improve the efficiency and value of tolling accounts by:

  • Converting more road users into account holders to simplify services and reduce fees
  • Proactively notifying customers when there are issues with their account (e.g. when they have a low balance)
  • Encouraging customers with multiple accounts to merge these into a single account

Account health checks

One key initiative to help customers avoid unnecessary fees and charges is a proactive ‘account health check’. We commenced this program in FY16 to review the account details of customers calling into our call centres and ensure that contact details, vehicle and e-TAG details were up-to-date. Account health checks will now be performed annually.

Preventing tolling and account issues

Where tolling and payments issues arise, we aim to maintain proactive communications with customers and provide multiple opportunities to resolve issues before receiving fees or fines. Communication processes during tolling and payment issues can include a number of steps:

  • First toll notice
  • Reminder notice
  • ‘Overdue account’ reminders sent by text message
  • ‘Final Notice’ by email
  • Phone calls to customers to resolve issues

In FY16, Transurban’s Customer Operations team implemented a number of initiatives to better understand why customers’ accounts become suspended and identify the best preventions and proactive notifications. For CityLink customers, new notification procedures to proactively alert customers to potential issues resulted in a reduction in customer account suspensions and debt recovery action.

We also saw an increase in customers setting up ‘Autopay’ to automate payment arrangements. In combination, these measures will lead to fewer customers having issues with tolling fees and fines.

Resolving missed tolls, fees and fines

In the event of unpaid tolls or account issues, Transurban customers may receive additional fees, fines and potentially infringement processes in some cases. We aim to assist customers wherever possible to avoid these circumstances.

In FY16, we introduced an initiative in Victoria and Queensland to assist customers without an account – a First Time Waiver Program. Customers who receive a toll invoice also receive an invitation to open an account and have the toll invoice fee waived. This initiative aims to transfer casual customers to an account so they can experience easier ‘set and go’ travel and reduce administration needs for their future travel.

In the USA, we continued to operate our Customer Care and ‘First Time Forgiveness’ programs to help customers avoid or resolve issues with unpaid tolls and the potential for escalation of fees and civil penalties. Since commencing in 2015, this program has helped more than 56,000 USA drivers avoid fees and civil penalties.

In the event that unpaid tolls escalate to infringement notices and civil penalties, Transurban follows processes that have been agreed with the relevant regional authorities.

In Australia, Penalty Infringement Notices are issued and recoveries collected by the State or Council authority. Transurban does not profit from fees and fewer than 2 per cent of Australian tolling transactions progress to the infringement process. In the USA, Transurban manages the penalty and court process but does not and cannot, by law, profit from administrative fees and civil penalties related to enforcement. Administrative fees are outlined by Virginian law, and judges determine civil penalties for violations. Fewer than 1 per cent of US tolling transactions progress to infringement processes.

In the past year, a small group of drivers in the USA challenged the enforcement process in the Virginia courts. Transurban was able to successfully resolve their concerns through the process of drafting a settlement agreement, which incorporated aspects of current programs – such as First Time Forgiveness – and added features to assist in resolving issues with unpaid tolls. This settlement is in the process of being finalised and adopted in court.

Customer privacy

Transurban is committed to protecting the personal information of our employees, customers and service providers.

Transurban takes a proactive approach to privacy which includes mandatory employee training on our privacy framework and policies and procedures on appropriately handling personal information including the collection, storage, use and disclosure of data. This framework reflects our commitment to complying with our obligations under all applicable privacy laws. We treat the standards and principles for handling personal information seriously as unauthorised use and disclosure of personal information can cause serious harm to the affected individual.

The privacy of customer data is particularly important to us. Transurban has adopted and implemented an external-facing Privacy Policy, which explains to our customers how we collect, use and disclose their personal information and a Credit Reporting Policy, which sets out how we manage credit-related information about individuals. Transurban also maintains an Information Technology Standard to drive compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard for secure management of customer credit card data on our systems.

The Transurban Privacy Officer is responsible for monitoring Transurban's compliance with privacy obligations. The Privacy Officer investigates and responds to privacy matters and incidents and, where relevant, reports to Transurban’s Audit and Risk Board Committee. More information on Transurban’s Privacy Policy is available here.