Two-thirds of drivers buy e-vignettes only at fuel stations

Last year, customers contacted National Toll Payment Services (NTPS) Plc in 450,000 cases in some shape or form to request assistance with or information about matters related to road use authorizations. Despite this high number, the range of services offered by NTPS is still only known to a few, as shown by a survey conducted in 2016. It is astounding that only a third of the respondents were aware of the possibility to buy e-vignettes at NTPS Customer Service Offices.

Transfer, registration number modification, theft, incorrect registration numbers, double purchase and excess charges represent only a handful of the cases where action was required in relation to road use authorizations and for which National Toll Payment Services Plc offers a full range of services. In 2016, drivers contacted NTPS through different channels, i.e. in person, by phone or post, in 450,000 cases in total to request assistance or information. Of these, around 380,000 Customer Service transactions were related to e-vignettes, which is not particularly high in relative terms compared to the 13 million e-vignettes sold last year (2.9%), but still required a significant Customer Service capacity.

When examining each channel, NTPS Customer Service Offices were contacted by customers in person in 180,000 cases, a slight decrease from 2015 (192,000). With regard to e-vignettes, cases where transfer of authorization to another motor vehicle was initiated represent the highest number, 57,000. About 25,000 cases concerned the subsequent correction of registration numbers provided incorrectly upon purchase, while the modification of vehicle categories took third place with a case number over 7,000.

Last year, the 24/7 Call Center of NTPS received over 166,000 calls, falling short of previous year’s 197,000. A possible explanation for this decline may be the fact that the legislation on using toll road sections were not amended in 2016, as opposed to significant changes implemented in 2015 (regional vignette and new toll categories). The highest proportion of customer calls, amounting to around 37,000, concerned e-vignette purchase, followed by 29,000 calls where unauthorized road users enquired about the administration options available to them.

NTPS saw a significant increase in the number of letters. In 2016, more than 101,000 customers contacted NTPS by post, a nearly 20-percent increase from the previous year. This is mainly due to the 53-percent rise in the number of enquiries related the distance-based electronic toll system (HU-GO), as compared to 2015. This is explained by the fact that the efficiency enforcement system has improved as a result of the technological integration and development seen in recent years, thereby allowing the identification of more unauthorized drivers. In customer correspondence regarding e-vignettes, excess charge cases still represent the highest proportion, especially requests and questions related to excess charge maximization. In 2016, NTPS received nearly 9,700 letters on this topic by email or post.

Due to the high number of customer enquiries, we continuously seek to increase administration speed and enhance the quality of the services we render. Therefore, we regularly assess customer feedback and key indicators to measure the efficiency of our customer relations activities”, Tibor Börzsei, Chief Executive Officer of National Toll Payment Services Plc, said. “Such indicators include the average length of calls received by the Call Center or the time it takes us to reply to letters received by post. In contrast to the statutory deadline of 30 days, this is 12 to 15 days for NTPS, depending on case type”, Tibor Börzsei added.

The key to high-quality administration are NTPS’s Customer Service Offices providing a full range of services requiring personal presence in relation to road use authorizations. Ensuring national coverage, the network consists of 18 offices, each of them having free-of-charge access and free parking nearby. The newest office in the network was opened in 2016 in South Pest, bringing up the total number of Customer Service Offices available to the public in and around Budapest to three.

In order to develop its customer service culture, NTPS is the only state-owned company to regularly apply for the Award for Excellency in Customer Service, organised by ClientFirst Consulting since 2009. In the last contest for 2016/17, Customer Service employees earned NTPS first place in the Personal Customer service category, second place in the Phone Customer Service category and third place in the Electronic Customer Service category among large enterprises.

The 2016 survey conducted for NTPS was aimed at assessing the feedback provided by customers. The results of this survey show that there is a fundamental lack of awareness among road user with regard to administration options and only a few of the know the relevant services offered by NTPS. For instance it is apparent form responses related to domestic vignette purchase habits that two-thirds of drivers buy e-vignettes only at fuel stations and less than a third purchases vignettes online or using the mobile application. Surprisingly, a mere 37% of respondents knew that this is also possible at NTPS Customer Service Offices.