This report will discuss this empowerment and communication from the perspective of customer service. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority will be used as the case study in this report. Strategies for employee empowerment that the organization implements to guarantee adequate customer service will be elaborated. This report explains the applications of the coproduction and self-sufficiency concepts in Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. A list of communication tools and their advantages and disadvantages will be provided. Further, the report offers recommendations on how to improve customer service practices.
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Background of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority
DEWA was established in 1992 as a public service utility after an invocation of Sheikh Maktoum who is a former ruler of Dubai (Assaf & Nour, 2015). The corporation resulted from a merger between the Dubai Electricity Company and Dubai Water Department, which were previously operating autonomously. The objective of the organization is to enhance prosperity in customer services through the provision of clean water and secure electricity.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority have a dynamic workforce of over nine thousand employees who are devoted to offering affordable services to more than half a million customers who are in need of electricity and water needs (Assaf & Nour, 2015). The company aims to inflate the electricity installation capacity to ten thousand megawatts by 2018.
The organization is divided into various departments that include the general management, strategy and business development, legal affairs, marketing and corporate communications, and the internal audit department (Alaileh, Yousif, Fadul, & Preece, 2013). Some of the core values of the organization comprise integrity, transparency, industrial teamwork, professionalism, customer focus, and corporate social responsibility.
DEWA has also initiated the use of solar power, as opposed to gas-fired power plants, which have dominated the company for the better part of its history. The company has an appealing success story due to its competence and steadiness in each dimension of its operations (Alaileh et al., 2013). The entrenched philosophy of the organization has been marked by intensive planning and forecasting to serve the increasing customer demands.
The authority ensures the attainment of its vision by maintaining pace with the advancement in technology by ranking among the first batch of local authorities to be pronounced as fully E-enabled (Assaf & Nour, 2015). The organization has an active website to facilitate effective communication with customers alongside the provision of E-government services and updated information to online recipients. Consequently, DEWA has made meaningful contributions to the economic nourishment of Dubai.
Empowerment Strategies implemented by DEWA
The organization has not been sidelined in the implementation of empowerment strategies. The provision of prerequisite skills to employees when performing the assigned tasks is a crucial empowerment tool. The organization has well-established training programs that have been implemented by launching multiple initiatives for sharpening its employee competencies (Pantouvakis & Bouranta, 2013).
Training processes have been undertaken through the partnership of domestic and global educational institutions and other affiliated development programs that aim to advance the professional techniques and expertise of the staff (Siddiqi, Kajenthira, & Anadón, 2013). Additionally, training is also accorded to other sectors of health and safety, environmental systems, and quality assurance when offering services.
DEWA empowers its employees by building their confidence. In line with the expectancy theory, the organization focuses on boosting the morale that workers demonstrate when accomplishing the delegated tasks (Pantouvakis & Bouranta, 2013). The company facilitates the cross-learning initiative among the employees to enhance mutual benefits that are associated with the comprehensive interchange of learned skills and expertise.
DEWA conducts several award ceremonies to honor the staff members who exhibit remarkable excellence in service delivery (Alaileh et al., 2013). The organization deploys efficient international best practices that encourage the performance of the staff by allocating awards to distinguished workers in all the sectors. The human resource department aims to ensure a favorable work environment that stimulates employee empowerment, teamwork, and customer satisfaction.
The authority fosters open communication between the management and the employees. As opposed to the top-down communication approach, an organization should structure ways to ensure that the employee feelings, opinions, and observations are aired effectively (Pantouvakis & Bouranta, 2013).
Empowerment results when workers feel that their inputs are valued during the formulation of decisions within the company. DEWA ensures open forums with its employees and graduate trainees in their strategy to improve the relations between the management and its human resources. The company’s open-door policy enhances face-to-face interactions with workers and clients where suggestions are presented concerning the means to improve training, shifting of departments, and flexibility of working hours (Siddiqi et al., 2013). Effective communication fosters the growth of the customer service department.
Other strategies the authority can use to encourage empowerment of its employees include offering positive feedback, granting sufficient power to workers, and proper articulation of the organization’s vision for individual tasks (Alaileh et al., 2013). Responses that emanate from the workers guide the management not only in doing the oversight of the daily assignments but also in handling huge workforce. When the employees gain a clear idea concerning the outcomes of their responsibilities, they attain a wider perspective of the missions, core values, vision, and the strategic plans of the organization (Pantouvakis & Bouranta, 2013).
Availing workers with adequate authority to decide on the best means to accomplish their tasks encourages autonomy while at the same time increasing their capacity for making decisions that meet customer demands.
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The Application of the Coproduction and Self-sufficiency Concepts at DEWA
Since DEWA is a public service organization, the concept of coproduction becomes very relevant. Dubai citizens are obligated to participate in the formulation of public policies that are associated with the organization (Fledderus, 2015). Since the operations of the organization are based on a transaction-oriented concept of service delivery, the citizens of Dubai engage in the consumption of electricity and water services that are provided by the government. Coproduction can be applied by DEWA through the involvement of citizens in decision-making, planning, and delivering of support to ensure that the services benefit all stakeholders (Fledderus, 2015). The organization must consult the citizens in making effective use of assets and resources to achieve better service delivery and/or increase efficiency.
Further, DEWA must be self-sustainable. It should decline using the available resources to steer its operations. The energy production must seek to reduce the levels of carbon footprint by altering the energy consumption methods in Dubai (Siddiqi et al., 2013). The organization must focus more on the production of clean energy from naturally replenished sources such as geothermal heat, wind, sunlight, and tides, as opposed to non-renewable sources. Self-sufficiency will enable Dubai Electricity and Water Authority to meet the anticipated goals of energy and environmental sustainability (Alaileh et al., 2013). The needs of the current generation will be met without jeopardizing the ability of future generation to satisfy similar needs.
Communication Tools used by DEWA
The organization has been involved in the launching of multiple social campaigns using efficient means of mass communication (Al-Wahaibi, Al-Mukhaini, Al-Badi, & Ali, 2105). The campaigns aim to create awareness while at the same time educating the public about critical issues that deal with sustainability efforts and ways of conserving water and electricity resources. The communication allows the engagement of all stakeholders and customers through increasing the knowledge concerning the available resources (Dabholkar, 2015).
The communications made through the campaigns aim to initiate rational ways in the consumption of water and electricity. The messages also advocate the essentiality of preserving natural resources for the benefits of the present and future generations (Guffey & Loewy, 2012). This communication tool lacks support from some sections of the society.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority uses website and smart applications as a communication medium to reach its stakeholders (Al-Wahaibi et al., 2105). Through the smart applications, customers can acquire updated information concerning the authority, fill bill requests, and/or generate enquiries in areas where they need clarifications. The websites and communication tools enable DEWA to support its vision of becoming a sustainable and innovative utility by 2021 through the integrated connectivity. The organization also incorporates the use of social media especially into campaigns that focus on creative thinking and innovation (Al-Wahaibi et al., 2105). However, the initial installation costs of the communication tools are high.
Other additional communication tools that the company can implement comprise the email-hosting provider and the file sharing services (Al-Wahaibi et al., 2105). Hosting will enable the colleagues within the organization to communicate and store information that can be retrieved for later reference. Similarly, clients can exchange information with the account managers concerning the organization (Guffey & Loewy, 2012). Sharing of files enables the customer to acquire timely information from the organization concerning the products and services alongside making various enquiries.
Recommendations on how the Company can improve Customer Services
DEWA can guarantee a responsive customer service by investing more resources in the establishment of customer service kiosks. The facility must be widely spread to reach all clients. Besides, it must be loaded into an array of services that focus on customer satisfaction (Dabholkar, 2015). The company should ensure that the client service team has the mandatory skills. The team has to demonstrate patience, empathy, and consistency, particularly when handling customers. The customer service team must adapt to different clients, convey information precisely, and/or exhibit work ethics (Pantouvakis & Bouranta, 2013). Key touch points that can deter proper relationship with the customers have to be addressed to enhance healthy interactions.
Customer service is also improved by reviewing the service strategy. The organization has to guarantee its availability to customers by creating communities that value clients as esteemed members of the society (Pantouvakis & Bouranta, 2013).
Communities are initiated through social media, webinars, trade shows, survey, and interactive websites. Furthermore, customer service can be enhanced by providing feedback mechanism (Dabholkar, 2015). Response from the customers aids in learning the areas that require improvement. It also deters clients from displaying their displeasure in sites that may ruin the reputation of the company.
Customer service is vital to the existence of every organization. DEWA has ensured empowerment strategies by boosting the confidence of its employees in service delivery. The organization has deployed communication tools such as social media campaigns, websites, and smart application in the quest to exchange information with its stakeholders. Customer service can be improved by periodical review of the client care strategy, enhancement of customer feedback, and the maintenance of good relations with customers, partners, and affiliated stakeholders.
Summary of the Report
The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority was initiated in 1992 following the merger of the Dubai Electricity Company and the Water Department. The company aims to provide water and electricity to over half a million customers (Assaf & Nour, 2015). The units that form the organization include the corporate social responsibility, the legal affairs, and the internal audit among others. The organization has an employment capacity of approximately nine thousand workers who assist the organization in attaining efficiency in all aspects of its operations. Currently, the organization has been focusing on the production of solar power. It aims to achieve electricity installation capacity of ten thousand megawatts by 2018 (Alaileh et al., 2013).
To attain the required customer service, DEWA has incorporated several employee empowerment strategies. Through the provision of mandatory skills to employees when executing the delegated tasks, operational efficiency is attained, resulting in customer satisfaction (Pantouvakis & Bouranta, 2013). The organization has increased its employee confidence. It has rewarded and recognized employees who excel in terms of service delivery to customers.
Open communication among the higher managerial levels and employees facilitates proper engagement in the decision-making process. Workers can air their views concerning methods that can improve training and/or ensure flexibility of working hours, thus propagating customer satisfaction requirements (Siddiqi et al., 2013). Other methods of empowerment comprise offering adequate authority to staff members and communication of organizational vision to individual tasks.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority can apply coproduction because it focuses on the public provision of water and power services. The citizens of Dubai must be involved in the formulation of decisions, as well as policies that are associated with the organization. When assuring service benefits to all people, citizens must be consulted concerning the use of resources and public assets (Fledderus, 2015). The company can implement the concept of self-sufficiency using natural resources that pose few detrimental effects on the environment. Naturally replenished energy resources must be used to support energy and environmental sustainability (Alaileh et al., 2013).
The successful implementation of customer service in an organization has to incorporate vital communication tools. DEWA has initiated several social campaigns to support the efforts of creating awareness and enhancing public knowledge about the methods of promoting sustainability through the conservation of water and energy resources (Al-Wahaibi et al., 2105). The use of the website and smart applications has provided a platform where a customer can acquire updated information, generate enquiries, and fill bill requests.
The social media tool has equally played a significant role in allowing efficient exchange of ideas and suggestions for the organization, the clients, and other associated stakeholders (Guffey & Loewy, 2012). Additionally, the organization can use the file-sharing services and the web hosting as additional communication tools.
Hosting encourages the stakeholders within the communication process to store information for future reference, as well as making inquiries. The company can guarantee improvement of customer service by establishing functional customer service kiosks that must comprise a package of services that uphold customer satisfaction. The organization should ensure that the client service team has the requisite skills (Dabholkar, 2015). The team must demonstrate consistency, empathy, work ethics, and clarity when communicating information to customers. The company has to identify the touch points of the customers to cultivate appropriate interactions.
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