Eskom enhances app, intros Alfred the chatbot

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Power utility Eskom is enhancing its digital channels in a move aimed at boosting customer engagement.

In a statement, the state-owned company says it has embarked on a digital journey to increase its availability and accessibility to its customers.

Eskom has enhanced the MyEskom Customer app, and announced the introduction of Alfred the chatbot.

According to the parastatal, these are the first of many new digital solutions to be launched to enhance Eskom’s customer self-help channels.

The announcement comes as many South Africans have taken to locally-developed mobile apps, such as EskomSePush, to get notifications about load-shedding.

Eskom notes the improved customer app is a digital tool created to improve customer service and experience when interacting with the company.

The MyEskom customer app has been improved to enable customers to report a fault, check their balance, and submit their own meter readings.

“The MyEskom app and the online portal enable you to check your balance and report a power failure in a few easy clicks,” the state-owned company says.

Added to the digital fold is the newly-launched chatbot, named Alfred.

“Alfred is the fastest and easiest way to report a ‘no electricity supply fault’ to Eskom, get a reference number and feedback on the already reported fault. Alfred, the friendly chatbot, is always on duty, ready to report a fault and give instant feedback.

“At the moment, Alfred can log an electricity supply fault and follow up on a fault that you might have logged. Alfred also knows a variety of FAQs [frequently asked questions]. We are busy adding exciting new functionality to Alfred but for now, we hope that Eskom's new chatbot can assist you.”

The parastatal points out that the app and chatbot are part of an ongoing process that Eskom is following to add fast, online and interactive tools to improve its service to customers.

“Eskom encourages customers to use self-help channels, as they are user-friendly and cheaper, with an improved response time.”

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