E Source Announces Top Utilities in Large Business Customer Satisfaction

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Every year, E Source conducts a survey of utilities’ largest business customers to assess their most important needs and how well their energy providers are meeting those needs. Florida Power & Light, Tacoma Public Utilities take top spots.

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Three service items are consistently rated by customers as most important for utilities to deliver: reliable energy, low prices, and emergency communications.

Every year, E Source conducts a survey of utilities’ largest business customers to assess their most important needs and how well their energy providers are meeting those needs. The company then ranks the customers’ overall satisfaction with both their utility and utility account representative. For the sixth edition of the study, E Source surveyed more than 1,000 large business customers of 25 North American utilities, revealing the top utilities in business customer satisfaction as well as the top attribute that leads to high satisfaction.

This year, E Source identified reliability as the attribute that large business customers consider most important for utilities. Customers also place high importance on effective communications, especially during energy emergencies.

Florida Power & Light (FPL) and Tacoma Public Utilities earned top honors in large business customer satisfaction. FPL has consistently received high marks every year of the study, and Tacoma Public Utilities has demonstrated continued improvement over the past few studies.

For the first time in the study’s history, E Source separated the participating companies into two categories based on utility size for the purpose of ranking. The highest-ranking utilities in each category are as follows.

Top Large Utilities in Key Account Customer Satisfaction:

1.    Florida Power & Light
2.    JEA (tie)
2.     Portland General Electric (tie)

Top Small and Midsize Utilities in Key Account Customer Satisfaction:

1.    Tacoma Public Utilities
2.    Clark Public Utilities
3.    City of Palo Alto Utilities

FPL earned top marks among large utilities in a number of areas, including satisfaction with the utility itself as well as with the utility’s account management team. Survey respondents specifically noted the account management team’s integrity, its proactive approach to communicating with them about energy emergencies, and how it helped them manage their energy costs.

Among small and midsize utilities, Tacoma Public Utilities was rated highest for utility satisfaction thanks to superior marks for the utility’s account management team. Tacoma Public Utilities’ large business customers were particularly pleased with their account representatives’ effective communication skills and customer service.

“Large business customers want their utilities to be good partners that communicate effectively and deliver on their commitments,” explains Spencer Sator, business line manager of the E Source Account Management Service. “Our survey pinpoints actions utilities can take that will have the greatest effect on customer satisfaction. It compares large business customer expectations to how well utilities are fulfilling those needs, and illustrates how to close that gap.”

Rachel Cooper, manager of market research for E Source, says, “Three service items are consistently rated by customers as most important for utilities to deliver: reliable energy, low prices, and emergency communications. Having a utility that’s trustworthy is also extremely important for these customers, particularly when it comes to supplying energy-efficiency advice. Large business customers most commonly chose their utility when asked to indicate who they most trust to provide this type of advice.”

Members of the E Source Account Management Service get access to the complete benchmark results as part of their membership. For more information about this annual study, please visit http://www.esource.com/largegpb.

To learn more about the study and hear E Source experts share data on the latest trends and best practices in account management, register for the free B usiness Customer Satisfaction Best Practices and Trends web conference, which will be held on February 12, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. EST/11:00 a.m. PST.

About E Source
For 26 years, E Source has been providing unbiased, objective research and advisory services to over 300 utilities and large energy users. Our energy experts have answered more than 8,000 questions over the past 3 years. This guidance helps our customers advance their efficiency programs, enhance customer relationships, and use energy more efficiently.

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Kym Wootton
E Source
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