Utilities' Business Customers Report Higher Satisfaction

Improved communication, greater service and billing options and fewer outages are among the reasons why business customers are becoming more satisfied with the performance of their electric utilities, according to a new study.

06/01/2005


Improved communication, greater service and billing options and fewer outages are among the reasons why business customers are becoming more satisfied with the performance of their electric utilities , according to a new study. Although researchers say satisfaction rates are up across the country, they found southern utilities to have the highest satisfaction levels among business customers.

The "2005 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study" was completed by Westlake Village, Calif.-based J.D. Power and Associates , and involved interviews with representatives of more than 11,000 businesses spending between $500 and $50,000 monthly on electricity.

Providing businesses with direct access to utility customer service, either through a business call center or an assigned account representative, was one of the biggest contributors to customer satisfaction, researchers say. Businesses with an assigned account representative scored their utilities an average of seven points higher than the overall industry average.

Providing service and billing options, including a variety of rate plans and alternative payment options (such as web-based systems), also helps boost customer satisfaction, the study notes.

The highest-scoring utilities, by region, were: PPL Electric Utilities (East region); MidAmerican Energy (Midwest region, and also the national leader); Southern Company (South region); and Salt River Project (West region).





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