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Utility Business Customer Engagement Declines for the First Time

18 Utility Business Customer Champions Named

Energy utilities lost ground with their business customers this year, with the industry scoring 760 (on a 1,000-point scale), according to Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Business, a Cogent Reports™ study from Market Strategies International. This is a significant 20-point decrease from 2016. The study measures Engaged Customer Relationships (ECR) on a weighted balanced scorecard approach by surveying business customers of 60 utilities on Brand Trust, Product Experience and Service Satisfaction. All factors have declined significantly, even though businesses say they have had fewer outages or safety events and improved service experiences.

This year, 18 Business Customer Champion utilities stand out among their industry peers by posting the highest ECR scores among all customer sizes, from small to key accounts. They also post the highest scores on customer satisfaction and brand attachment.

While Business Customer Champions demonstrate strong engagement across all business customer types, many utilities have focused on developing strong managed account programs. Having an account manager provides a 16-point premium on our ECR score over the industry average. Of the managed accounts, 87% use some offering, product or service beyond the core utility service, including alternative rate plans and energy consumption programs. Additionally, even when interacting with self-service channels, managed accounts have higher scores, with users of utility websites, mobile apps and/or web and social media scoring above 800 on ECR

Top 10 Managed Account Utility Programs*

Duke Energy Progress
Georgia Power
Jersey Central Power & Light
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power
Louisville Gas & Electric
MidAmerican Energy
SCE&G
SDG&E
Southern California Edison

West Penn Power

* Based upon highest ECR scores for businesses citing they have an account manager as primary point of contact

“Our list of Business Customer Champions are utilities that have developed strong relationships among all businesses they serve, from SMBs to managed accounts,” said Chris Oberle, senior vice president at Market Strategies International. “It is important for utilities to form strong relationships with their business customers beyond service experiences to protect their franchises. Over half of business customers say they would consider obtaining their power from some other provider, such as a retailer, high-tech company (such as Apple, Google or Tesla) or onsite generation.”

The utilities earning the 2017 Business Customer Champion designation represent best practices in how they have grown strong customer relationships, built trusted brands and developed operational satisfaction among their business customers. 

 
 
 
 
EAST REGION BUSINESS ECR BENCHMARK SCORES
 

Con Edison

803

PSE&G

791

BGE

790

PPL Electric Utilities

778

West Penn Power

776

PECO Energy

762

Appalachian Power

755

Jersey Central Power & Light

751

Penelec

748

National Grid

746

PSEG Long Island

742

NYSEG

736

Eversource Energy

715

 

MIDWEST REGION BUSINESS ECR BENCHMARK SCORES

MidAmerican Energy

787

Consumers Energy

778

ComEd

777

Ohio Edison

770

Wisconsin Public Service

766

Duke Energy Midwest

764

DTE Energy

763

Ameren Missouri

760

KCP&L

754

Alliant Energy

753

Ameren Illinois

749

Xcel Energy - Midwest

745

We Energies

743

NIPSCO

731

AEP Ohio

689

 

SOUTH REGION BUSINESS ECR BENCHMARK SCORES
 

Georgia Power

804

Entergy

788

Alabama Power

784

Florida Power & Light

783

Kentucky Utilities

782

Dominion Energy Virginia

779

Public Service Company of Oklahoma

772

Louisville Gas & Electric

767

SCE&G

765

Southwestern Electric Power Company

764

Duke Energy Progress

760

Gulf Power

756

OG&E

749

Duke Energy Carolinas

748

Duke Energy Florida

746

CPS Energy

742

TECO Tampa Electric

725

 

WEST REGION BUSINESS ECR BENCHMARK SCORES

Puget Sound Energy

801

Southern California Edison

791

Xcel Energy - West

787

Salt River Project

784

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

782

Rocky Mountain Power

770

Pacific Power

755

Portland General Electric

753

SDG&E

752

Idaho Power

750

NorthWestern Energy

749

NV Energy

749

PG&E

743

APS

719

PNM

649

  

About Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement: Business

Market Strategies conducted surveys among 10,031 business electric and combination utility customers of the 60 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.

 

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