Electric utility companies have a better chance of improving residential customer satisfaction by increasing their investments in call centers than they do by investing the same amount of money in other areas, according to a study released last week.
The study, conducted by research company Primen, Madison, WI, found that the average U.S. electric utility spends $7.79 per customer each year to operate its call centers. Increasing that spending by 28 cents per customer to improve call-response times would improve a utility’s customer-satisfaction rating by 5 percent.
In order to improve customer satisfaction by that much, utilities would have to spend much more in other areas, such as improving system reliability to reduce outages.
Primen is an independent, fuel-neutral information company affiliated with the Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA, and the Gas Research Institute, Chicago.