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Question

Today is National 'Get to Know Your Customers Day'-- so, what are your organizations doing to learn about your utility customers?

Matt Chester's picture
Energy Analyst Chester Energy and Policy

Official Energy Central Community Manager of Generation and Energy Management Networks. Matt is an energy analyst in Orlando FL (by way of Washington DC) working as an independent energy...

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  • Jan 21, 2021
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On January 21, 2021, we recognize national 'Get to Know Your Customers Day.' Understanding our utility customer base is essential to recognizing what programs and features should be offered, anticipating any challenges in the customer outreach and billing departments, and ensuring that utilities remain one of the reliable and trusted pillars of the communities they serve. 

So, today being Get to Know Your Customers Day is as good of a moment as any to step back and reflect on how you're doing in those efforts. How well do you know your customers? And what are you doing to get to know them more-- surveys, customer outreach, social media, something else? 

Share your stories below and let's learn from each other!

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At Chelan County Public Utility District in Central Washington state, we have made a commitment to getting input from customers. Here are a few examples:

-Every two years we conduct both a key stakeholder feedback survey and a customer satisfaction survey. We've earned high marks from customers in recent years, with the most recent 2020 survey showing 86% of our customers gave us "satisfied" or "very satisfied" scores.

-During our strategic planning process, held every five years, we reach out to customers through community meetings, "topic team" committees, written surveys and other outreach to ensure our long term planning reflects community values.

-As we plan projects -- whether new substations, fire hardening improvements, community conservation efforts -- we send updates to customers and hold meetings to collect their feedback.

These activities and others help us bring the greatest possible value to our customers in Washington state.

 

It is important that utilities get to know their residential and SMB customers as individuals with different wants and needs around energy and technology. I recommend our consumer segmentation work as a good place to start. Understanding that consumers are not a monolith and have different reasons and perspectives will help all energy stakeholders improve consumer satisfaction in terms of products, services, and programs related to energy. To learn more about our consumer segmentation framework visit each of these links, one for residential consumers and one for SMB consumers.

 

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