Utility customers derive 94% of their satisfaction from the ease of doing business with their utility, yet the industry average Customer Effort index score is a moderate 730 on a 1,000-point scale. This means the biggest customer satisfaction opportunity for the industry is making it easier for customers to do business with their utility.
According to the latest 2019 Cogent Reports Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement: Residential study, TECO Peoples Gas scores the highest at 802, making it the easiest utility in the nation to do business with. Only 33 of the nation’s largest 140 electric and natural gas utility brands made it to this “easiest to do business with” list.
“Utilities have already made large investments in their operations to improve customer satisfaction scoring. The next step to optimize performance is addressing how easy it is to do business with the utility,” said Chris Oberle, senior vice president at Market Strategies International-Morpace.
The Customer Effort index score is a composite of how easy it is for customers to interact with a utility across service, communication and product touchpoints. The study explores what utilities can do to improve how they serve their customers across each of these areas to provide effortless experiences. For example, customers who indicate they had an easy service experience spend 50% less time on phone service, a win-win for utility cost and customer satisfaction. Additionally, while consumers agree that utility programs themselves are easy to use, many say that enrolling in these same programs is difficult. Customers who find it easy to work with their utility use more of its enhanced programs and offerings, leading to higher adoption rates and increases in customer loyalty.
“The benefits of scoring well on Customer Effort are great. Utilities that plan and measure effortless customer experiences have higher levels of customer support, loyalty and participation in their service platforms and offerings. They also have the highest overall customer satisfaction,” said Oberle.
Following are utilities that have made it easiest for their customers to do business with them, posting a Customer Effort index score of 750 or greater.