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Customer Experience in The Utility Industry: Why It Matters and How to Improve It

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

For many electric companies, prioritizing operational excellence over customer experience (CX) has been a logical choice. These services are vital—so ensuring constant uptimes and managing a dispersed workforce is mission-critical.

However, today's electric companies are now facing a monumental shift.

As other industries accelerate their CX practices, customers expect similar service levels from their power and utility service providers.

The primary issues impacting electric companies' ability to focus on CX stem from the following:

  1. Too little industry leadership - Electric companies and other utilities are losing ground to other industries. Utility companies that want to lead in CX can capitalize on this opportunity and differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Blindly imitating "best practices" from high-touch industries such as retail or financial services will not deliver results that create meaningful customer experiences for energy companies or others in the utility sector.

  2. Complex interactions - Digital interactions have expanded from a website and e-mail to a diverse landscape of touchpoints, including social media, messaging, chats, etc. As electric companies' interactions become more complex, there is no substitute for personalized services and personal conversations with expert customer service agents.

  3. Lower-income customers are the least satisfied - Opportunities exist for electric companies looking to address this gap in satisfaction. One example many electric companies are implementing to increase satisfaction is the Deposit Alternative Plan (DAP).In a recent review, Deposit Alternatives found that, after initiating DAP, over 75% of enrolling customers with this utility selected the Deposit Alternative Plan (DAP) vs. a traditional deposit requirement.

DAP paves the way for utilities to improve customer satisfaction by:

  • Offering a deposit option: the traditional fully refunded deposit; or DAP, a non-refundable charge, typically 40% to 50% less than the value of conventional deposits, to customers at the time of the account activation.

  • Account holders selecting DAP enroll during account activation through an easily integrated form within the utility's existing CIS process.

  • If a DAP enrollee defaults on their account, Deposit Alternatives reimburses the utility up to 125% of the conventional deposit amount.

In offering DAP, electric companies improve the customer's sign-up experience with a

personalized service that fits the customers' specific needs. This not only makes it easier for customers to establish service, but it also helps to improve their overall experience with the utility company.

Utility companies that also offer an option for a deposit will not only attract more customers, but they will also likely see an increase in customer satisfaction and loyalty. By showing that they are willing to work with their customers and meet their needs, utility companies can create a positive customer experience and foster long-term relationships.

In conclusion, customer experience is vital in the utility industry, and offering a deposit alternative is one way for utility companies to improve the experience for their customers. By providing this option, utility companies can attract more customers and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.


About Deposit Alternatives

Deposit Alternatives, founded in 2016, is a leading innovator in the utility industry. Drawing on over seventy combined years of expertise in the utility and financial sectors, Deposit Alternative has disrupted the world of utility deposits to provide better service and greater customer satisfaction with innovative deposit solutions across the US.


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