Can smart meters improve utility customer satisfaction?
Tuesday 21st February 2012
Last week JD Power and Associates announced the results of their annual
Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study, surveying 24,000 US
utility business customers, which has shown a clear correlation between smart
meters and utility satisfaction.
As reported by Greenbang, the satisfaction
survey showed that those businesses that have smart meters - 16% of those
surveyed - had on average satisfaction scores of 85 points higher than those
that don’t. Indeed, merely knowing that their electricity companies are
deploying smart meters led to satisfaction scores on average 79 points higher
than those customers unaware of their utility company’s smart meter plans.
Clearly these results make for very
interesting reading. Not only does the study help support the case for the
smart meter roll out in the UK and elsewhere in the world, it should also
provide some food for thought for utility companies and energy suppliers.
Given recent surveys in the UK that have shown
rising customer dissatisfaction with the ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers - in
January the Which? annual energy company satisfaction survey revealed ‘Big Six’ energy companies received over four
million complaints in the year up to September 2011 - it seems that these
results offer energy suppliers some insight into how to enhance their customer
the start of this year our CEO Chris Saunders predicted that 2012 could be the
year that sees the start of the break up of the ‘Big Six’ dominated UK energy
market as consumer pressure instigates dramatic changes in the market. However
these results from the US show the value that embracing smart meter technology
could have for the major energy suppliers.
suppliers need to recognise that the smart meter roll out is a major
opportunity to put consumer trust and customer relationships at the heart of
their proposition. If not, they risk losing market share forever.
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