The American Customer Statifaction Index (ACSI) announced its 2017 Energy Utilities Industry results and found Touchstone Energy Cooperatives still atop the energy sector with a score of 78. These results represent the annual comparison comprised from the last four quarters of ACSI scoring.
This marks the seventh year in a row that Touchstone Energy Cooperatives earned the honor of being the highest rated electric utility group.
The ACSI has more than two decades of experience analyzing customer satisfaction with investor-owned energy utilities serving U.S. residential customers and seven years of customer evaluations of municipal and cooperative energy utilities. Customer satisfaction benchmarks across the three categories—investor-owned, municipal and cooperative—are updated annually based on interviews with hundreds of residential customers about recent experiences with their service provider, and then calulated in to a score out of a possible 100.
Following three years of overall decling customer satisfaction scores across the ACSI’s energy sector, Touchstone Energy Cooperatives stepped up 2.6 percent to 78 while non-Touchstone Energy electric cooperatives moved up 4 percent to 75 in a tie with investor owned utilities.
Yet Touchstone Energy Cooperatives keep their competative advantage thanks to the cooperative difference of member-ownership and utilizing programs like the Best Practices Knowledgebase as well as Service Excellence.
Touchstone Energy Co-ops like South Central Power have completed all four stages of Service Excellence Training for front line employees to help them be more proactive with members. This training helps employees improve the impression they make with their behavioral styles and focuses on communication skills and member advocacy, both inside and outside the cooperative. You can read more about how South Central Power increased their ACSI score by five points in the Best Practices Knowledgebase on Cooperative.com.
The ACSI also credits the sector improvement to overall lower household energy costs thanks to unusually warm weather across most of the country, which lowered electric supply and heating costs. The heating season was 3% warmer than last year according to the U.S. National Weather Service.
Touchstone Energy members can receive an ACSI score each quarter as part of their investment fees by adding four questions to any member survey. For more information about how to receive an ACSI score, visit Cooperative.com/ACSI.