Survey: Getting utility customer service right isn't easy (or quick)


By: SGN Staff


A new survey from BRIDGE Energy Group offers some good news and some bad news: Utilities are working on getting their customer service act together through customer information systems (CIS) and customer relations management (CRM) programs and initiatives. But the number of utilities that have managed to work around the challenges is depressingly small, according to a new survey from BRIDGE Energy Group.


Not so long ago whatever utilities served up for customer service was what customers got. But about four years ago, customers started pushing back. There were lawsuits against utilities installing smart meters, at least in part because utilities at the time hadn't thought to let customers know they were doing it and why, and what the benefits would be. And lots of criticism. Customers wanted more.


While they generally get it now, BRIDGE says only 9% of utilities surveyed "...have a complete, integrated view of each customer in order to analyze the information and deliver on those [customer] expectations" for things like two-way communications on outages, rate increases and billing issues.