Study Shows High Operational Satisfaction Combined with Trust Is a Winning Combination
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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.
This shows that account managers at electric utilities are doing a fantastic job ensuring their utility is providing quality customer service and introducing standard programs to these customers. However, utility revenues are tied to growing local economies and having businesses that pull the most energy adopt their options and offerings. So, today’s utility account managers need to be regarded as trusted advisers to businesses on energy strategies as well as become active partners in the success of the business customer and the local business community.
The table below shows that electric utilities still have work to do, as even businesses with account managers still lag on understanding their utility’s economic development and outreach activities and do not view the utility as a partner that aids in their business’ success.
The most important focus for electric utilities is to continue providing quality service while gaining a deeper understanding of business customer segment needs:
- Who are your customers?
- What drives their business?
- How does your service territory provide them a competitive advantage?
- Where does energy factor into their success?
Addressing these questions will enable utilities to become trusted advisers and a part of their customers’ overall business success. Utilities will then be able to advance their future programs and business models.
The following table lists the top-quartile-scoring electric utility managed business account programs. These utilities are in a better position to reap the financial benefits from managing business customers.