According to the J.D. Power 2017 Gas Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study that was just released, customer satisfaction has increased for the sixth consecutive year on a nationwide basis.
It’s being driven by industry-wide efforts to improve safety through a combination of multimedia direct customer outreach and residential safety inspections. This comes after the residential gas utility industry has invested a considerable amount of resources to increasing the number of communications options and emphasizing it can play in advocating safety.
Following are some key findings of the study:
· Customer satisfaction trending significantly higher: Overall satisfaction in the 2017 study is 29 index points higher (on a 1,000-point scale) than in the 2016 study. This is the sixth consecutive year of customer satisfaction performance improvement for the residential gas utility industry.
· Perception of safety is key to customer satisfaction: Gas utility efforts to advocate for safety have a positive impact on customer satisfaction, with satisfaction 88 index points higher among customers who had a safety inspection conducted by their utility than among those who did not receive an inspection. Likewise, satisfaction among customers who say their gas utility was “very helpful” or “somewhat helpful” in preparing for a safety issue is 150 points higher than among those who say their utility was “not very helpful” or “not at all helpful.”
· Digital communication channels and alerts drive customer engagement: Digital customer alerts from the utility addressing everything from usage to severe weather to emergencies, such as a natural gas leak, are being adopted widely by utility customers. Communication satisfaction among customers who indicate receiving one of these alerts is 104 index points higher than among those who did not receive an alert.
· Proactive communications regarding service interruptions improve customer satisfaction: Overall customer satisfaction scores are higher when residential customers experience an interruption but are alerted to it in advance than when they do not experience any service interruptions at all.
Among the firms for your region, Atmos Energy and CenterPoint Energy rank at the top and Texas Gas Service ranks at the bottom for the South Region: Large Segment.
The complete release, with quotes and full rankings charts, can be found here.