Customer Relations


Our activities in a variety of areas—whether it’s community investment, workforce diversity, ethics, procurement or environmental protection—help achieve greater harmony, efficiency and prosperity.

While our customer base is diverse and varied, our approach to customer service is not. Responsive customer relations and safe, reliable operations are critical to our business success.

Business Context and our Strategic Response

Listening and responding to our customers' needs is a fundamental priority for us.

We have a wide range of customers—from energy producers and marketers who ship and/or store their products on our oil and gas storage and transportation networks, to refiners and processors, to the residential, commercial and industrial customers who consume the natural gas we distribute.

Safe, reliable operations, combined with responsive customer service, help us retain existing customers and attract new business. Both are critical elements of our business success and essential for creating long-term value for our shareholders.

Our Approach

We fulfill our commitments to customers by: ensuring the safety of our systems and delivering the highest levels of reliability; making sure we are efficient so that they pay the lowest practical costs for our services; and delivering our growth projects on time and on budget, while attaining high standards of safety, quality, and environmental and regulatory compliance.

Natural gas storage and transportation customers in Ontario have a choice. Customers choose to do business at the Dawn Hub and ship natural gas from Dawn to Parkway on our transportation system because our services provide the best customer value. Attributes of price and quality (product offering, customer service, relationships and image) are weighed by customers in determining their value.

Our customer-facing teams across the Company aim to provide consistent and reliable service at all times. Our teams are constantly looking for opportunities to improve by: listening to customers to understand their needs; proactively bringing important information to their attention; and being responsive and addressing issues effectively and in a timely fashion to their satisfaction.

Our Customers

Each of our business units has a unique set of customers and uses a tailored approach to communicate and respond to them. Our two utilities (Enbridge Gas Distribution and Union Gas) amalgamated on Jan. 1, 2019 to form Gas Distribution and Storage. The rest of this section refers to both utilities as they operated as separated entities for the period under review.

Our customers are …

Our customers need …

We communicate with and respond to our customers through …

LP

Producers, marketers and refiners.

  • Competitive rates.
  • Access to the best markets.
  • Pipeline capacity and reliability.
  • Maximized pipeline network performance.
  • Regular meetings (>1,000 in 2018).
  • Online systems for convenient scheduling.
  • Reporting and monitoring of their service.

GTM

Onshore and offshore (Gulf of Mexico) shippers, including local distribution companies, producers, marketers, power plants and end users.

  • Competitive rates.
  • Access to the best supply and markets.
  • Operational reliability and timely access to critical information.
  • Online systems for convenient contracting, scheduling, reporting and monitoring of service.
  • Annual marketing/business development meetings and annual Customer Service Users Group Meeting with LINK® Customer
  • Interface System users.
  • Customer training sessions.
  • 24/7 hotline for system issues.

Utilities

EGD

Approximately 2.2 million residential, commercial, institutional and industrial users in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and New York State.

  • Safe and reliable delivery.
  • Fair and reasonable delivery rates.
  • Monthly billing, which creates the opportunity to communicate 12 times per year and results in 25 million customer contacts each year.
  • 24/7 customer-service web access.
  • Interactive voice response via call centre, SMS and email.
  • Paperless billing.
  • Social media, online surveys, newsletters, proactive safety information and campaigns.
  • Energy conservation programs.
  • Customer satisfaction surveys conducted by third parties—both traditional research (phone and web-based) and real-time surveys via the Qualtrics tool (see initiative section).
  • Escalated concerns are directed to the Ombudsman Office.

UG

  • 1.5 million residential, commercial, institutional and industrial customers in more than 400 communities across northern, southwestern and eastern Ontario.
  • Producers and Marketers from across North America, Utilities and Power producers from across Canada and the U.S. Northeast.
  • Safe and reliable delivery, and affordable delivery rates.
  • Clear, proactive customer communications.
  • Representatives who listen and understand their customers' businesses and needs.
  • Monthly billing, which creates the opportunity to communicate 12 times per year and results in more than 17 million customer contacts each year.
  • My Account and Unionline web-based transaction and information tools.
  • Social media, online surveys and newsletters.
  • Energy conservation programs.
  • Customer satisfaction surveys conducted by third parties, including participation in the Mastio customer value and loyalty survey.
  • Energy Services (storage and transportation) builds relationships through communication, meetings and creation of win-win opportunities.

Our Performance

Providing Consistent and Reliable Service to All of our Customers

We monitor customer satisfaction through regular formal meetings and informal contacts, and we measure their satisfaction through reputation studies and customer-satisfaction surveys conducted by third-party providers.

Customer Satisfaction Measurement

 

Engagement Tactics Used

Customer Satisfaction

LP

  • 500 meetings with its top ranked customers.
  • Holds annual customer conference and quarterly shipper meetings.
  • Received positive feedback on LP’s approach and ability to resolve issues collaboratively. Based on that feedback, LP believes that its customer satisfaction has improved and, going forward, it intends to continue its efforts to meet and exceed its customers’ expectations.

GTM

  • Holds regular, informal conversations with its customers, annual Marketing/Business Development customer meetings, as well as an annual Customer Service Users Group meeting with interested LINK® Customer Interface System (“LINK® system”) users.
  • Has regular, informal conversations with many of its customers.
  • Customers indicate an appreciation for GTM’s responsiveness to their changing needs and its customer-focused approach. Specifically, Offshore customers indicated an appreciation for its fairness in dealing with issues that occur.
  • GTM has a track record of continuous innovative improvement of its LINK® system, having implemented more than 100 customer-requested enhancements over the past 10 years. In several instances, new functionality implemented in GTM’s LINK® system has been the first of its kind in the industry.
  • Received positive feedback.

Utilities

EGD

  • Customer Care responded to ~1.3 million customer inquiries, and ~8,200 issues went through EGD’s Office of the Ombudsman.
  • EGD conducted an annual reputation study with its residential customers. The Reputation Index score in 2018 was 79, (in 2017, it was also 79). The 2018 study determined that EGD led in the areas of field service response, service quality, safety and trust.

UG

  • Measures customer satisfaction across a number of touchpoints and transactions through ongoing quantitative research studies, including the online Unionline survey and through participation in the third-party Mastio customer value and loyalty survey.
  • Energy Services (storage and transportation) solicits customer feedback at every touchpoint and report back to customers how their input improved the win-win relationships.
  • Responded to approximately 881,000 customer inquiries through the call center. The Customer Relations group (escalated customer care team that will transition to the Office of the Ombusman) responded to about 4,000 issues.
  • In the 2018/2019 Mastio Study, Energy Services Net Promoter Score (NPS = % Promoters – % Detractors) increased to 68.3%, up from 55.7% the previous year.
  • Overall Satisfaction rating grew to 85.25% ranking the pipeline as #8 in North America and #1 in the Great Lakes region.

GDS Initiatives

The amalgamated entity GDS is in the early stages of integrating the websites of EGD and UG. In 2018, EGD launched a new Voice of the Customer tool (Qualtrics) which allows us to gather customer feedback through a new channel. This tool enables us to capture customer feedback in high velocity, and provides immediate perspective on how we’re doing and where we need to react. The new EGD customer-facing website (enbridgegas.com) also went live in 2018, providing greater responsiveness and ease of navigation. In addition, a number of self-service functionalities are being added to EGD’s My Account tool throughout 2019. For example, My Account provides customers with billing insight, more consumption information and analysis, transaction history and their communication preferences. Another exciting initiative will be the 2019 launch of the Chatbot, enabling customer inquiries to be handled automatically without human intervention. The Chatbot will help customers with billing inquiries, move requests, payment arrangements and general FAQs. The Chatbot will integrate with the live agent capability as needed.

GDS entities also continue to engage with their customers through their wide range of DSM offerings. From homeowners to large industrial facilities, GDS provide incentives to customers to encourage them to adopt energy-saving equipment and operating practices that reduce natural gas consumption.

For more information on our DSM programs, please see the Energy Transition and Climate Change section of this report, the Energy Efficiency Tips section of EGD’s website or the Conservation First section of the UG website.

Safeguarding Customer Privacy and Data

At all levels of our company, we have robust systems and thorough processes in place to help ensure our customers' and stakeholders' privacy and data are protected. In 2018, neither LP, GTM, nor the Utilities received any significant substantiated complaints regarding breaches of customer privacy or losses of customer data.

Cybersecurity has been identified as a top risk for the Company. Therefore, Enbridge has developed and implemented a risk-based cybersecurity control framework to manage its cybersecurity risks and measure the effectiveness of controls. It addresses cybersecurity threats unique to Enbridge and in keeping with best practice. Specific areas of focus in 2018 included:

  • Increased monitoring and response capabilities for security-relevant events.
  • Increased security awareness and training for employees and contractors.
  • Enhanced controls for anti-phishing and anti-malware.
  • Reduction of access to systems and data through privileged account management.

Enbridge is committed to earning and maintaining our customers’ trust by continuing to:

  • Ensure we respect legal privacy requirements in collecting, handling and safeguarding personal information.
  • Work with the data security team to carefully consider privacy and data security risks on new projects, system upgrades and/ or initiatives.
  • Provide privacy training and awareness to personnel who handle personal information.

Customer Satisfaction Measures

2016

2017

2018

LP

  • 500 customer meetings.
  • >500 customer meetings.
  • >500 customer meetings.

GTM

  • Regular, informal conversations with customers, high contract renewal rates, strong revenue replacement rates.
  • Regular, informal conversations with customers, high contract renewal rates, strong revenue replacement rates.
  • Regular, informal conversations with customers, high contract renewal rates, strong revenue replacement rates.

EGD

  • Achieved 79% on its Customer Satisfaction Index.1
  • Achieved 79% on its Customer Satisfaction Index.1
  • Achieved 79% on its Customer Satisfaction Index.1

UG

  • Achieved 86% overall customer satisfaction with the Call Centre experience.
  • Achieved 87% overall customer satisfaction with the Call Centre experience.
  • Unionline satisfaction score of 93% (biennial study).
  • Achieved 87% overall customer satisfaction with the Call Centre experience.

1EGD measures customer satisfaction through its Customer Satisfaction Index, which assesses customers’ perceptions of EGD’s service performance on a wide range of customer touch points.

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