From the E Source Large Business Gap and Priority Benchmark
Data source: 2016 E Source Business Customer Satisfaction Study (formerly known as the Gap and Priority Benchmark)
Data type: Voice of the customer, business account management
Keeping energy prices down, effectively communicating during emergencies, providing reliable energy, and being trustworthy are top-priority utility attributes for key account business customers. Although end-use customers rate these attributes as most important, utility performance isn’t meeting their expectations. In 2016, E Source surveyed approximately 880 key account business customers (from nine utilities) to assess their needs and how well their energy providers are meeting them. Service-related attributes and trustworthiness have some of the largest gaps between customers’ importance and utility performance ratings (Figure 1).
Given that many of these attributes are top drivers of customer satisfaction (Figure 2), it’s important to demonstrate your ability to meet customer expectations in these areas. Based on comments from our members during roundtable discussions and results from current and past gap and priority studies, we compiled a list of best practices:
- Earn trust by making commitments and sticking to them.
- Provide reliable energy (that is, keep the power on) by maintaining and upgrading equipment, increasing the redundancy of power generation through backup generators, adding solar or wind power, or using energy storage devices. You can also work with your customers to implement some of these same items on-site.
- Respond quickly and effectively if the power goes out to alleviate customer confusion and frustration.
- Proactively communicate with customers about energy prices, relevant regulatory filings, and the drivers behind rate increases.
- Provide explanations of rate cases and justifications for rate increases to maintain customer satisfaction.
- Share what you’re doing to keep rates as low as possible.
The 2016 E Source Large Business Gap and Priority Benchmark consisted of a web-based survey fielded throughout 2016. Only customer respondents from the nine utilities who met the 2016 E Source benchmark criteria answered the questions included in this snapshot (n = 877).
The survey asked key account business customers to rate the importance of attributes that relate to utilities and the performance of their utility in each area. We also asked customers to rate their overall satisfaction and perceived value of their utility. We conducted regression analysis to identify key drivers of key account customer satisfaction with their utility and their perception of the value they receive from their utility.
For public content, E Source removes data points from figures.
For more information about the survey or these data, please call us at 1-800-ESOURCE (1-800-376-8723) or email the E Source Market Research Services team.