Utilities Please: A New Report with a New Perspective

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When we think about our ideal home, we often overlook the basics. We want a wraparound porch, or a master bath, or a walk-in closet, but what about the basics? We want light, we want heat, and we want a working kitchen. These requirements are often too simple to get much attention, but when we lose them, it’s always noticeable.

Our utilities deserve more attention than we give them. They also deserve a little more attention from customer satisfaction studies. Many studies base their reports on power outages and a loss of heat or gas. Because our utilities fly under the radar until they stop working, homeowners tend to have a heightened negative response when they lose power, for example.

Market Strategies International recently did a study that measured brand trust, operational satisfaction, and overall customer satisfaction regarding utilities. This study produced a clear result: utilities providers actually do provide good service.

The utilities markets vary from many other markets; natural gas and electric services each provide for different regions. Utilities are often subject to the weather. For example, a blizzard in Massachusetts can kill a power supply for at least a couple of days. Reports categorize utilities providers to have poor service, but these reports do not account for drastic drops in service due to the uncontrollable.

The study conducted by Market Strategies International compares utilities to other household service providers by following a universal template. This template is called the Net Promoter® Score. The study determines the likelihood of a customer to recommend their provider after having experience with the given provider. By using this approach, the study concludes that customers reported satisfaction with their utilities to be just behind the customers’ primary banks and wireless carriers. Both electric and natural gas utilities recorded positive satisfaction, and rose above waste management, Internet providers, and cable TV providers.

This new way of testing satisfaction levels the field between different types of providers. From the study, Market Strategies acknowledges the false idea that utilities provide poor customer satisfactions. The results provide some suggestions for further improvement such as increasing brand trust and customer trust. To build customer trust, a provider must focus on their service’s environmental impact, customer satisfaction, community inclusion, effective communication, maintaining high quality, and thus uphold their reputation.

When you take care of your home, you want what is best for it. Reports on utilities providers have previously been skewed, so it’s important to double check facts. For example, you wouldn’t jump into insulating your home with a certain material after hearing about the insulation once. It is important to research different aspects of home improvements in order to choose your best options. Luckily, the industry is performing many tests to gain new opinions and viewpoints, and make this information available to you: the homeowner. If you have questions or would like further information, contact Dolphin for help finding answers.