For more than a decade, E Source has been collaborating with utilities to conduct business customer satisfaction surveys. This year marked the 11th edition of the large business study and more than 1,400 customers participated. The 5th edition of the small and midsize business (SMB) study included more than 3,300 completed surveys. These national studies identify the best utilities in business customer satisfaction, highlight the top attributes that lead to higher satisfaction scores, and deliver insights for product planning.

The E Source Business Customer Satisfaction: Gap and Priority Benchmarks are critical resources for understanding the voice of the customer and determining how utilities can provide even more value to their business customers. By testing several attributes for importance and performance, E Source identifies the biggest gaps and makes actionable recommendations for improvement. Each utility participant comes away with a greater understanding of the priorities, needs, and preferences that make their business customers unique.

Reliability is the most important attribute

Business customers identified reliability as the most important attribute for a utility to possess, followed closely by effective outage communications and trustworthiness. E Source helps utilities and account managers understand where they’re falling short of customers’ expectations and then works with them to create a path to close the gap between importance and performance ratings.

In terms of large business customer satisfaction, Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) earned the top honor. In addition to being reliable, KUB scored highly for trustworthiness and effective communications around its efforts to keep prices down. “KUB is pleased to have been rated number one in the large business customer satisfaction benchmark,” says Kendall Stiles, manager of customer support and key accounts at the utility. “These surveys are beneficial because they show us what types of services and interactions our larger customers expect from us, which in turn allows us to adjust our strategies to continually provide a high level of customer service. We’re appreciative of the services E Source offers that help us to evaluate and improve our account management tools.”

WPPI Energy secured the top spot in the SMB benchmark. Of the utilities in the study, WPPI Energy earned the highest scores for four of the eight attributes in the study. The utility earned its highest score for “providing reliable energy.” When it comes to maintaining customer trust, WPPI Energy leads the way with the highest scores for utility and account reps alike.

“Meeting customer expectations is the leading measure of success for our 51 community-owned member utilities,” says Jake Oelke, WPPI Energy’s vice president of energy services. “The E Source Gap and Priority Benchmarks play an important part in understanding those expectations and in keeping our customer services and communication strategies relevant.”

E Source will honor the top-ranked utilities from both studies at the 2019 E Source Forum in Denver, September 17–20.

Full study results

Members of the E Source Account Management Service will be able to access the complete benchmark results, which will be available soon. Utility participants that are not members of this service may purchase the results separately. Contact customer service to learn more.

About E Source

For over 30 years, E Source has been providing market research, data, and consulting services to more than 300 utilities and their partners. This guidance helps our clients advance their customer energy solutions and enhance their relationships, while becoming more innovative and responsive in the rapidly evolving market.

Public relations contact

Sannie Sieper, Director of Marketing, E Source
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Contributing Authors

Director of Marketing

Sannie Sieper is responsible for leading the marketing, event, and member communications for E Source. She is passionate about marketing...