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JPS could close seven outlets by March 2021

Published:Tuesday | December 29, 2020 | 7:44 PM
Data show that online interfacing by JPS customers has grown from 36 per cent to 45 per cent this year, the company said.

The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) is considering closing seven of its outlets and shedding some jobs in the first quarter of 2021, The Gleaner understands.

The outlets are located in Sav-la-mar, Black River, May Pen, Portmore, Portland, St Mary and East Parade, Kingston.

The decision has reportedly been triggered by a paradigm shift in a year defined by the coronavirus pandemic, which has an increased migration of consumer interaction to online platforms.

In response to questions from The Gleaner, Winsome Callum, the director of corporate communications and customer experience at the JPS said the company has not made any decision on the wind-up of its physical offices.

IN PHOTO: Winsome Callum

"While it is expected that service digitalisation will have some impact on the operations of JPS' customer service network, it is too early to say with certainty how they will be affected," she said.

Besides its Knutsford Boulevard, New Kingston, headquarters, JPS lists 15 customer service offices islandwide on its website.

That means the consolidation drive could cause the shuttering of almost half its network of customer service centres, with the light and power company registering a 25 per cent increase in online engagement in 2020 alone.

Data show that online interfacing by customers has grown from 36 per cent to 45 per cent this year, JPS said.

It is unclear how staff complement would be affected as some jobs may be retained as JPS expands its digital footprint.

Digitalisation is a key pillar of JPS' strategy, Callum said, citing the launch of a mobile app as a tool for improving the ease of doing business and enhancing overall customer satisfaction.

Ten per cent of customers are registered users of the MyJPS Mobile App since September, the company disclosed.

JPS will also be tapping its social media platforms to broaden its service outreach and activate more self-help options through its website and interactive voice response.

"As part of its rollout of the digitalisation plan, the company has started discussion with stakeholders to fine-tune the process and work through the implementation phases," Callum said.

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