Delmarva Power’s ranking for business customers was slightly below the regional average among the mid-sized electricity utilities. At the same time, the utility industry is seeing higher levels of customer satisfaction among business customers.
The rankings came from the J.D. Power 2017 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study.
Ranking first among mid-sized utilities was Duquesne Light, a western Pennsylvania utility that is primarily owned by an Australian investment company.
Delmarva and other Pepco holdings utilities are now part of utility giant Exelon. Fellow Pepco utility Atlantic City Electric finished second among mid-sized utilities.
“Electric utilities are rapidly upping the ante on customer communications, setting an example for other service industries by demonstrating that it is possible to dramatically improve customer satisfaction by actively engaging across a number of channels,” said John Hazen, director of Utility Practice at J.D. Power. “While there is no one-size-fits-all formula for success, electric utility leaders are finding that a steady combination of proactive outreach through a mix of digital, mobile, community events, and dedicated account representative touch points can drive a strong positive perception of their brands.”
Here are some key findings of the study:
- Record high customer satisfaction scores: Overall customer satisfaction among electric utility business customers improves for the fifth consecutive year to a record high of 765 (on a 1,000 point scale), a 10 point increase over last year’s results.
- Customer satisfaction improving industry-wide: The top 5 brands in the study all earn overall customer satisfaction scores in the 800s, compared to only one brand in the previous year results. Moreover, the gap between the top performer and bottom performer in the study has narrowed to just 111 points, down from 118 last year.
- Fewer power outages and more proactive alerts: The average number of brief power outage (five minutes or less) falls from 1.9 in the calendar year 2016 to 1.7 this year.
- More customers interacting with utilities via mobile device: Business customers are increasingly relying on mobile devices to access their electric utility’s website.
- Dedicated account representatives play a key role in satisfaction equation: The average overall satisfaction score for business customers who have a dedicated account representative is 824, 9 points higher than 2016 (815) and 85 points higher than those without a dedicated account representative.
Within each of the four geographic regions included in the study, utility providers are classified into one of two segments: large (serving 85,000 or more business customers) and midsize (serving 40,000-84,999 business customers).
Delmarva serves Delaware, a portion of northeast Maryland and Maryland’s Eastern Shore.