Electric Utilities: Get the Most Out of Your Business Account Management Program

Study Shows High Operational Satisfaction Combined with Trust Is a Winning Combination

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Business handshake. Business people shaking hands, finishing up a meeting

It is not surprising that managed business accounts for electric utilities are significantly more satisfied with their utility’s operations than other businesses are. Managed business accounts have the best of both service worlds—the ability to call someone at the utility as well as multiple options for self-service. Their average score of 791 (on a 1,000-point scale) on Operational Satisfaction is a significant 20 points higher than the average score for businesses without account managers (771). And the top-quartile-performing utility managed business account programs score 820 or higher.

But there is a catch. High operational satisfaction does not necessarily translate to businesses trusting their utility to advise them or aid in the success of their business. That said, what does it take to build a top managed business account program at your utility that goes beyond operational satisfaction?

The Cogent Reports™ 2016 Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Business study scores Operational Satisfaction by measuring billing, payment, safety, reliability, and customer and field service quality for electric utilities from business customers’ perspective. On these measurements, managed business accounts at electric utilities have high operational satisfaction and are much more engaged with their utility. Continue reading

Day Two: Live Blogging from @TMRE14

Mark Willard and Mary Lee, AAA, will take the stage @TMRE in one hour to share an amazing case study about customer experience: “Revolutionizing CX: How AAA Turned Satisfied Customers into Loyal Advocates” at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 21 in Estate 1. 

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The gist? AAA needed transaction research to fix customer issues and strategic relationship research to link micro-feedback to operations. By designing a new measurement program and a built-in, closed-loop system, Market Strategies helped AAA revolutionize its member experience program and empower employees to make lasting improvements in customer experience. As Mary puts it, “Partnering with one firm to do transaction-level and strategic research is like having your cake and eating it, too.” 

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Looking at Facebook’s “Look Back” Videos

2014-02-facebookFacebook is 10, and they celebrated by releasing a new video app. If you’ve been on Facebook this week, you have undoubtedly seen it—it’s responsible for the “My Facebook Movie” posts that have been ever-present on the site the past couple of days. I’ve seen two dozen of them so far among my circle of friends. And every one of them has been perfectly charming—a beautiful (and often touching) little summary of that user’s life as seen through the lens of Facebook. The videos are spreading like wildfire on the site (and, frankly, I’m amazed that all that video sharing and viewing hasn’t crashed the servers yet).

On my commute into work this morning, I was thinking about why they’ve been so successful and seem to be truly delighting users…

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Live Blogging from TMRE13!

Market Strategies International has showed up at The Market Research Event (TMRE) in Nashville en masse! As one of FreshMR’s humble bloggers, I’ll be sharing my thoughts, notes and musings on all things TMRE, including our very own presentation with AT&T Mobility. Traditional Market Research & Big Data Integration: A Case Study in What Works and What Doesn’t is a must see. We’re on at 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, October 23 in the Bayou D Meeting Room.

4:50 p.m. CST on October 22, 2013

Another good day at TMRE. Met lots of interesting people, all finding new and interesting ways to use research to solve their business problems. For me, the networking opportunities have been very good and I have enjoyed a number of presentations.

I won’t be in town tomorrow for the last day, but if you are in Nashville, head along to see my colleague Greg Mishkin and Don Hodson from AT&T discuss how Big Data, primary market research and tremendous analytics have helped AT&T solve some of their business issues.

11:40 a.m. CST on October 22, 2013

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Taking advantage of some extra oxygen, courtesy of our booth neighbor and friends at Gongos.

10:28 a.m. CST on October 22, 2013

Dan Pink gave an address to TMRE this morning based on his book, To Sell Is Human.

1 in 9 people in the US are in sales, a number that is not declining. But, so many more are really in a role where they have to convince or persuade others: “Non-sales selling.” On average, 41 percent of our time is spent in this way.

Two new fundamentals:

  • Like it or not, we are all in sales—some are comfortable with this and some are not
  • It’s seller beware, not buyer beware. Sales are not what they used to be—buyers know as much as sellers in almost all circumstances.

Always Be Closing. In the best Glengarry Glen Ross tradition is poor selling. Dan’s alternative:

Attune (to your audience)
Buoyancy (stay positive)
Clarity (Distill information. Problem finding beats problem solving.)

A couple of tactics:

  • Take the perspective of others.
  • Imagine what others are thinking, not just what they are feeling.
  • Mimic. Use you customers’ language.
  • Ambiverts are the best sellers. Part introvert, part extrovert. Know when to speak and know when to listen.

Interesting and entertaining talk to a packed audience!

4:17 p.m. CST on October 21

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Greg and Don at the Market Strategies booth. Note the bike some lucky conference attendee will win! Drop off a business card to be entered in the draw.

3:47 p.m. CST on October 21

presentation prep

Prepping for Wednesday’s presentation with my colleague, Greg Mishkin, and AT&T’s Don Hodson.

2:15 p.m. CST on October 21

Connecting the Intelligence Dots for Value Driven Strategy by Eric Jagher, Vice President of Strategy, Insights and Analytics for U.S. Cellular

Very interesting presentation–Eric noted the huge win it was for him to get the analytics piece added to his group. The value of having behavioral and attitudinal analysis under his direction sounds impressive. They have provided the brand with insights that have driven business decisions, such as with their recent collaboration with Walmart. Great business example of having all data analytics in one team. The implications are clear for suppliers to have Marketing and Data Sciences capabilities providing holistic insights.