When I was an editor at a greeting card and book publisher, my manager used to start all of my annual reviews with a nice compliment; then tell me about a bunch of goofs, gaffes, flubs, and fumbles I had made over the previous year; and then end with another accolade. The old pro-con-pro-wich. One year, it went like this:

You’ve developed really strong typing skills! Authors think your editorial feedback is mean. Your research on Zoroastrianism didn’t include enough poetry from the 10th century. You put 31 days in September in this year’s ‘Mom, What Would I Do Without You?’ calendar. People love the party atmosphere you bring to the office!

I agree with you. That last one could go either way.

Since then, I’ve learned that 30 days hath September, April, June, and November. I’ve also learned that people crave feedback on their performance, whether the critique is good or bad, and whether it’s delivered as a sandwich or a shot of Patrón. So I’m gonna give it to you straight, in the old good news/bad news format.

Last year, E Source surveyed 25 North American utilities to gauge the maturity of their CX programs. Some results were highly promising! Others were a little bleak.

Three good things and three bad things from the E Source Customer Experience Survey 2014

A list graphic showing the top three bad pieces of news and the top three good pieces of news surrounding CX initiatives at utilities

If we had to write a performance plan for utilities that are motivated to improve CX, it’d probably look a little like this:

None of this information is downright dismal, and progress is already under way. Things can change dramatically once you’ve identified the problem and agreed on a course of corrective action. For example, I now include smiley faces in my edits to authors, and I know a little more about the Persian Book of Kings. As for the party atmosphere? I can’t help it; it follows me.

Contributing Authors

Content Strategist, Content Group

Joy Herbers writes, edits, publishes, and maintains content related to customer experience, billing, and residential and business marketing. She also...