The energy industry is continuously working to improve customer satisfaction, and industry executives are watching. According to the latest J.D. Power study, customer satisfaction has increased for the seventh consecutive year in the industry.
Improved prices and communications saw the biggest gains to improve customer satisfaction in 2017, the study found. The J.D. Power Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study also notes the utility industry implements customer satisfaction improvements at a slower rate than other industries, however.
A white paper by former California Public Utilities Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon found customers have experienced some improvements. These include cost savings due to record-low natural gas prices, more energy efficient appliances and buildings, declining energy usage and a population shift to the south.
Simon’s white paper also examined customer satisfaction, citing an Accenture Global Consumer Trends Survey that found more than half of customers switched businesses or brands in 2013 because of poor customer service. More than 80 percent of those who switched said their former service provider could have done something to retain their business.
While the J.D. Power study showed an overall increase, the American Customer Satisfaction Index has shown slow improvement. However, more gains and losses than an overall year-over-year gain. The ACSI also shows that reliable service, information, corporate citizenship and courtesy toward customers are among the top customer experience benchmarks.
Earlier studies have shown that customers want information and choice – and when a utility offers customers programs or services in which they can chose to participate, their satisfaction increases. In addition, customers want more communication from their utilities, the study showed.
Tips to Improve Customer Satisfaction
So how can utilities provide more choice and communication, thereby enhancing their customer satisfaction? A partnership with HomeServe USA enables utilities to offer their customers valuable repair plans for electric service line, water heaters and other home systems.
One in three homeowners don’t have even $500 set aside for an emergency home repair, according to HomeServe USA’s State of the Home survey. HomeServe can provide protection to utility customers who aren’t prepared for an emergency repair and increase customer satisfaction at the same time – at no cost to partner utilities.
A partnership with HomeServe brings your customers emergency home repair plans that deliver best-in-class service from rigorously vetted local contractors. Learn more about how a partnership can benefit utilities and their customers at www.homeserveutility.com.