By DAVID ZOELLER firstname.lastname@example.org
September 13, 2018
Paducah Power System scored above the national average among municipal utilities for residential customer satisfaction — with the notable exception of rates — in study results presented to its board Monday.
The study was conducted this summer by GreatBlue Research, a Connecticut custom market research firm, and included a telephone and online survey of residential and commercial customers. A total of 416 residential customers and 105 commercial customers were surveyed.
“One of the areas of focus in our strategic plan was customer service, in that we wanted to be able to say ‘PPS will set the bar’ for exceptional customer service,” said Jeff Garner, Paducah Power business systems manager. “To do that, we’ve got to know where we’re starting from.”
In the study, customers were asked to rate Paducah Power in a number of different service-related characteristics, said Dan Quatrocelli, GreatBlue senior project director.
They included communicating with customers; responding promptly to questions and complaints; being open and honest about company operations and policies; cost/rates; community involvement; helpful staff; knowledgeable staff; reliability of electric service; and overall satisfaction (excluding rates).
“Residential customers provided PPS with an average positive rating of 75.8 percent overall with the highest ratings for helpful staff (85.6) and knowledgeable staff (85.1),” Quatrocelli said.
“On the commercial side, characteristics receiving higher ratings included reliability of service (87.3) and helpful staff (81.7), with an average positive rating of 74.9 percent.”
The lowest customer satisfaction rating was for cost/rates among both residential customers (37.1) and commercial customers (37).
According to Quatrocelli, GreatBlue surveys 3,000 residential customers served by municipal utilities each quarter for the American Public Power Association.
The results from the Paducah Power residential survey were above the national average in several categories.
They included being open and honest about company operations, PPS, 78.8 percent, national, 59.2; communicating with customers, PPS, 81.7, national, 69.7; and responding promptly to questions and complaints, PPS, 84.6, national, 65.1.
Paducah Power scored about six points above the national average in the category of overall satisfaction, Quatrocelli said.
Garner said he was encouraged by the study’s ratings.
“While I’m pleased with the results, it doesn’t stop there. We don’t need to make wholesale changes, we just need to tweak some things that we can do better,” Garner said.
Dave Carroll, Paducah Power general manager, agreed.
“Our plan is to take this data and look in each of these areas to see what we can do to take one step forward, to move some of those interactions from a neutral over to a positive,” he said.
“If we can do that, and we feel like we can, we can be world class … we’re not that far away.”
This article was reprinted with permission of The Paducah Sun.