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Utility Business Customer Relationships Strengthen to Record Levels

15 Utility Business Customer Champions Named

Utilities have strengthened their relationships with their business customers to a record high score of 780 (on a 1000-point scale), according to Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Commercial, a Cogent Reports™ study from Market Strategies International published today. This is a significant 32-point increase over 2015. The study measures Engaged Customer Relationships (ECR) through surveying business customers of 59 electric utilities on Brand Trust, Product Experience and Operational Satisfaction.

The fuel for this growth was an increase in ECR among unmanaged accounts, business customers not assigned a utility account manager. These unmanaged accounts now score 776, up 34 points from last year. Managed business accounts continue to score higher at 789. Customers with key account managers also score significantly higher on Brand Trust, indicating the relationship value account managers have developed with these businesses.

“Utilities deserve a lot of credit for building strong relationships with businesses that drive local economies,” said Chris Oberle, senior vice president at Market Strategies International. “This year’s Customer Champions are strengthening engagement with unmanaged account customers by offering them choices on rates, demand-side management programs, energy management tools, distributed energy and other offerings.”

The study finds that business customer engagement is best managed by focusing on six customer segments: Management Controls, Urban Core, Home-Grown Success, Outsiders, People Powered and Managed Accounts. Among these customer segments, Management Controls scores highest on ECR at 812. This segment typically comprises 13% of utility business customers and tends to be clustered in health care, manufacturing, professional services, retail and technology.

Utility Business
Customer Segment

Engaged Customer Relationship Score

Brand Trust
Score

Management Controls

812

787

Urban Core

790

768

Home-Grown Successes

770

744

Outsiders

752

719

People Powered

749

724

Managed Accounts

789

771

 

“For business customer engagement, it’s all about developing offerings and targeting them to the right customer segment. Utilities doing this are benefitting not only their business customer base but also the vibrancy of the local communities they serve,” continued Oberle.

Below is a list of utilities that have ECR scores high enough to be designated 2016 Business Customer Champions. These utilities represent best practices in how they have grown strong customer relationships, built trusted brands and developed operational satisfaction among their customers. Individual utility scoring performances can be obtained at 2016 Cogent Reports Utility Customer Relationship Scoring - Full List.

2016 Business Customer Champion Utilities

Engaged Customer Relationship Score

 Ameren Illinois

814

 Con Edison

803

 CPS Energy

804

 Dominion Virginia Power

816

 Duke Energy Florida

820

 Florida Power & Light

814

 Georgia Power

829

 Idaho Power

809

 KCP&L

803

 Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

807

 MidAmerican Energy

810

 National Grid

802

 NYSEG

852

 Pacific Power

831

 AEP SWEPCO

804

* Customer Champions were selected based on achieving a top quartile industry, top three regional score or being within 20 points of the top regional score on the Cogent Engaged Customer Relationships index (ECR).

About Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement: Commercial

Cogent Reports conducted surveys among 9,429 business electric and combination utility customers of the 59 largest US utility companies (based on customer counts). Utilities are given equal weight to balance the influence of each utility’s customers on survey results. Market Strategies will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.

For more information on the report, review an overview:
 
Review an Overview of the Report

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