As part of its efforts to raise the quality bar of customer service, the Public Works Authority 'Ashghal' has announced the completion of the automation of all its services, and the development of its new-look and upgraded official website and Customer Zone portal to provide a better online experience.
Ashghal strives to stay up to date with the latest technological developments that contribute to improving its services and meeting the needs of its customers. This is achieved by developing a number of programmes and solutions to improve the content of Ashghal’s online channels while linking customer data to the National Authentication System 'NAS' to facilitate the registration process.
In August 2020, Ashghal activated its online payment feature in order to allow customers to access all of Ashghal’s services remotely and maintain customer safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To complement these efforts, Ashghal provides all its services to individuals, companies and the government through a standardised online customer zone portal. Using this portal, visitors can register their information and fill out the online form that is linked to the databases of the concerned authorities to facilitate access to the service and submit requests from anywhere at any time.
Simplifying the registration process and linking customer data to 'NAS'
In this context, Mr. Abdulla Saad Al Saad, Public Relations and Communication Department Manager at Ashghal, said, "In order to facilitate the customer's access to our services, we have activated the standardised registration system to simplify registration and link individuals' transactions with the National Authentication System." In addition, when visiting Ashghal’s website or customer service portal, customers only need to log in once with the same account without having to re-enter their information again.
Mr. Al Saad added, "Customers can fill out their information for each service through the corresponding online application form, which includes all the information needed for each service which the customer can upload online."
It is worth noting that despite the challenges we have been facing since the start of the ongoing pandemic, Ashghal's customer service team has dealt with these by taking several actions to ensure the delivery of customer service with the same efficiency and competence.
Moreover, following the precautionary measures taken by the country during the Covid-19 pandemic, the contact centres were shut down to protect public health. Despite that, the customer service team continued to receive observations and inquiries around the clock through the call centre and online channels. During 2020, the call center assisted nearly 90,000 customers across all of Ashghal’s platforms.
Ashghal has also made all its services fully available online through Ashghal’s website (customer zone portal). In 2020, 8,300 online transactions were received through the customer service portal and the mobile application, compared to only 900 online transactions submitted during 2019.
Adapting technology to provide services from anywhere at any time
Mrs. Abeer Al Hajri, Information Systems Department Manager at Ashghal, said that Ashghal’s engagement with customers has expanded over the past years to include many channels through which customers can apply for services, communicate and submit their comments or inquiries in the easiest and fastest way possible. These channels are based on a modern integrated CRM system that was implemented in cooperation with Microsoft and is constantly being developed.
Mrs. Al Hajri added: “One of the most important features added to the website is the ability to browse it clearly and easily through any device, whether it is through mobile, tablets or a computer. This is in addition to the preexisting 19 services that the customer zone portal offers including: 8 for roads, 10 for drainage and one for Infrastructure service. Besides receiving suggestions, inquiries, complaints and reports, we have also added two new services: overflowing rainwater drainage and connecting buildings and facilities to the surface and ground water network”.
The efforts made to develop Ashghal’s website and the customer service portal comes as a new step towards adapting modern technology to facilitate access to Ashghal services. In addition, it allows all customers to stay in touch with Ashghal’s news and the progress updates on infrastructure projects through a sophisticated interface that keeps pace with modern technology tools.
Important Channels of Communication with Ashghal Include:
1. Call Centre (188) and Email:
Ashghal's Call Centrer was launched in May 2013, providing service in Arabic and English languages and operating around the clock (24/7). Over the past years, the Call Center has maintained outstanding level of service.
Ashghal also provides services through its official customer service email email@example.com to handle various inquiries. Ashghal’s customers can also follow up on the status of any submitted application or know the road condition in the geographical area chosen by the client by simply registering on the authority’s website and choosing the preferred method of communication, either SMS or the client’s email.
2. Ashghal’s Social Media Channels
Ashghal continues to actively enhance its presence on social media platforms in order to improve interaction with customers, and keep them informed about the latest developments of Ashghal’s projects and services, through its most viewed channels: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. By the end of December 2020, Ashghal has reached more than 89,000 followers on Facebook, more than 80,000 followers on LinkedIn, more than 81,000 followers on Instagram and more than 96,000 followers on Twitter, which is one of Ashghal’s most interactive platforms with the local community.
Whereas Ashghal’s YouTube channel received more than 586,000 views, as Ashghal continued to publishvideos of its projects and achievements throughout the year.
3. Ashghal 24/7 Mobile Application
Ashghal 24/7 mobile application reflects the authority's commitment to develop its services to clients, facilitate customer access to Ashghal services, as well as increasing public awareness of the projects, services and initiatives offered by the authority and keeping them informed of the latest developments.‘Ashghal 24/7’ is available on "Android" and "iOS" operating systems, and it provides customers with the opportunity to obtain various services provided by Ashghal electronically, in a more efficient and effective manner. The application is characterized by enabling users to download various types of messages from written texts, geographical locations, images and documents, and to attach them with notifications and certain types of service requests directly to complete the full application process electronically.
Ashghal 24/7 application is available in Arabic and English languages and it’s design is well organised and user-friendly. The homepage includes several sections including “My Page” that contains all electronic services available only to registered users, which can be applied for using the geolocation feature in addition to sending any documents required from Ashghal. It also includes a Notifications Section that allows users to inform Ashghal of everything that may constitute a danger or public harm, such as a pothole on the road or similar issues of concern. The application explains to users the steps for submitting any request or report, and option to view the status of previous requests and complaints.
4. Customer Zone Portal
Ashghal's Customer Zone Portal includes a variety of services including roads, drainage and infrastructure provided to individuals and companies through the e-portal firstname.lastname@example.org.
The portal aims to enhance communication and direct interaction with citizens and the public in order to create integrated and effective customer experiences. The customer zone portal is designed in a well-organised and accurate manner that makes it easier for customers, whether individuals or companies, to access the services needed, as the services are classified according to their type within lists of project types. It also includes suggestions, inquiries, complaints and notifications.
The application mechanism for these services only requires choosing the service to see its detailed explanation, required documents and its important terms and conditions. Then clicking on the application icon, filling the fields with required information which is successfully linked with the systems of concerned entities. The Customer Zone portal features also include complete submission of applications electronically along with electronic payment feature for customers.
5. Ashghal Contact Centres
Ashghal receives its customers on working days at the Contact Centres in its two locations - Ashghal Tower in the West Bay and at Asset Affairs Building on the Central Market Street. The Contact Centres deal with all types of customer issues of individuals and companies including inquiries, requests and comments, where customers are served by qualified staff who are fluent in Arabic and English.
6. Ashghal’s Official Website
Until the end of December 2020, Ashghal's official website received more than 428,000 visitors, while the number of page views reached more than 10 million. With Ashghal opening the opportunity to register individuals and companies, more than 23,000 people and 5,000 new companies have registered on the website.
It is worth noting that with the aim of monitoring all customer feedback and evaluating the performance of Customer Service Team, Ashghal has been implementing the “Excellence in Customer Service” program for years, which is an ongoing program designed to position Ashghal within the best customer-focused entities in Qatar and the region, applying best practices in government services excellence.
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