Utilities That Perform Well in Customer Satisfaction Polls Communicate Well with their Customers, Chartwell Reports

Atlanta, Georgia, UNITED STATES

ATLANTA, April 29, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Chartwell's latest research on customer satisfaction in the utility industry reveals several links between utilities that score high on publicly available consumer satisfaction indices. Among those connections are that well-performing utilities encourage their employees and rely on actionable customer service follow up to gauge their customers' perceptions of the company.

"North American electric and gas utilities have shown a propensity for conducting good transactional customer service research, often looking to improve customer service performance or because they are required to do so by regulators," says Dennis Smith, director of editorial and research for Chartwell Inc. "But many utilities have found that performing well in the transactional arena doesn't necessarily translate into a positive image with the overall customer base, much of which has no direct communication with the utility other than payment of a monthly bill. Some utilities, however, have learned to take advantage of their inhouse customer surveys and make those surveys work towards a more positive company image."

Customer Satisfaction in the Utility Industry 2004, Chartwell's second report on the subject, examines the common threads between energy providers that are highly regarded by their customers. By surveying customers not only on their call center experiences but after outages, on meter reading performance, etc., utilities are able to learn their customers' opinions on how the utility conducts its day-to-day business.

Customer Satisfaction in the Utility Industry 2004 offers an industry analysis and case studies on South Carolina Electric & Gas, Georgia Power, and Consumers Energy, which have performed well on published customer satisfaction studies. The report is also based on interviews with industry experts who present valuable advice on customer satisfaction measures and what they can mean to utility companies.

Customer Satisfaction in the Utility Industry 2004, part of the Chartwell CIS and Customer Service Research Series, is available for $350. It can be purchased at Chartwell's Energy Library (http://www.energylibrary.com), which hosts Chartwell's vast collection of research reports and utility periodicals. Users can go to the site, register and find the customer service category link to purchase Customer Satisfaction in the Utility Industry 2004 or view a free table of contents. Member companies can download the report as part of their membership service.

For information on becoming a series member, please call Juli Collins at (404)237-9099. Press contact: Dennis Smith, (404)237-9099.


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