Utility customer satisfaction is a buzzword in the industry. Across North America, utilities are engaged in a race to see who can improve customer satisfaction and deliver the best customer experience.
Yet improving customer satisfaction is becoming increasingly difficult. As inflation takes its toll around the world and utility bills continue to rise, utility providers must do more than ever before to increase customer satisfaction metrics.
Let’s take electric utilities, for example. According to the J.D. Power 2021 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study, overall electric utility residential customer satisfaction is 748 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2021 – a decrease from a record-high 751 in 2020.
This year’s study shows only 32 percent of customers are aware of their utilities’ efforts to help economic development in their local communities.
“In today’s roller coaster economic environment, electric utility providers need to not only increase their efforts to help their local economies but also communicate more effectively about utility programs and activities,” said John Hazen, managing director of the utility practice at J.D. Power.
“Utility customers want to hear about these efforts and, when they do, overall satisfaction is higher. Promoting economic development efforts can increase overall satisfaction by as much as 122 points.”
Improving Utility Customer Satisfaction
As we can see from the above study, there is room for improvement when it comes to utility customer satisfaction – so, where should utilities start? Website satisfaction, information provided on energy-savings ideas, the promotion of economic development in local areas, and improved customer service are always good starting points.
Most importantly, today’s customers are demanding access to their utility through a variety of channels – not just via call centers and office business hours. Online utility access has never been more important, whether that be through your utility’s website, a mobile application on their phone or tablet, or social media.
To improve customer satisfaction scores, utilities must meet these needs and better engage with their customers.
How the SilverBlaze Utility Customer Portal will Help
The first step in improving customer satisfaction is meeting their expectations with digital interaction channels. Customers want to be able to pay their bills online, request services, report outages, view their consumption data and receive messages directly from their utility provider.
The SilverBlaze Customer Portal for Utility Providers enables your utility to easily engage with your customer, putting them in control of their utility accounts.
By giving customers direct access to online billing, customer usage information, direct notifications and alerts, and so much more on one centralized and easy-to-use platform, our award-winning customer portal technology significantly improves customer satisfaction and enhances the customer experience.
And it doesn’t just benefit your customers either. By improving how you engage with your customers and putting them in control of their utility accounts, your utility can realize cost savings and internal efficiencies as a result.
Want to learn more about how the SilverBlaze Customer Portal for Utilities can benefit your business and drive up customer satisfaction? Book a demo today.