8 basic principles that can take utility customers beyond being merely satisfied

Phoenix, AZ, Jan. 10, 2008 — There are certain customer service principles all utilities should follow that will help them take customers beyond the realm of being merely satisfied, according to David Saxby, president of Measure-X, a company that specializes in helping utilities improve their customer service and sales.

“The market often talks about customer satisfaction, but that is a deceptive phrase,” said Saxby. “Satisfactory implies adequate, good enough, acceptable. Every utility should want to do better than that.”

The reality of customer service is that customers have low expectations, Saxby said. “That makes it easy to go the extra mile, but sometimes utility employees need to be reminded of what that means and what the principles are that will drive positive customer outcomes,” Saxby said.

Following are eight basic principles that Saxby said will escalate the level of service when employees embrace them.

1. Customer service is everyone’s business.
2. We say yes to customers and then figure out how.
3. We give customers a choice.
4. Every employee owns a customer’s problem until it is solved.
5. We see customer complaints as a gift.
6. We are financially responsible to our customers.
7. We offer customers innovative solutions.
8. We help customers feel like owners in our company.

“Yes, customer service is everyone’s business at your utility,” Saxby said. “Anyone at any level in the company can build tremendous customer loyalty by embracing these principles and going that extra mile.”

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