SPL WorldGroup clients receive highest J.D. Power and Associates customer satisfaction rankings for medium-size utilities

Morristown, N.J., Nov. 19, 2003 — SPL WorldGroup clients occupy all three highest slots for medium-size utilities in the J.D. Power and Associates 2003 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM.

Receiving top honors was Colorado Springs Utilities and Omaha Public Power District in a tie, followed by JEA (Jacksonville Electric Authority). According to the study announcement, “OPPD repeats its 2002 top ranking, while Colorado Springs Utilities is included in the study for the first time.”

Also ranking high among medium-size utilities were SPL clients Tucson Electric Power (ranked in 5th place) and Idaho Power (tied for 8th place). The segment covers utilities serving 160,000 to 400,000 residential customers.

SPL supported high-ranking utilities in other segments, too. TXU Energy (US) was ranked in the top six for large utilities in the Southern Region. In the Midwestern Region, SPL client Kansas City Power & Light tied for fifth.

“SPL clients have received consistently high marks in customer satisfaction surveys,” commented Dave Mulit, SPL’s general manager for the Americas. “We share their dedication to high-quality customer service, and we are proud that our customer care and billing systems can play a role in their success.”

Industry analysts have frequently noted the importance of customer care and billing systems to customer satisfaction.

Warren B. Causey, for instance, notes, “Today’s U.S. utilities clearly recognize the relationship between customer satisfaction and customer care systems. When we asked utilities recently to rank the reasons for replacing a customer care system, improving customer service came in a strong second place-right after replacing outdated or unstable technology. In fact, on a scale of 1 to 5, investor-owned utilities gave improved service a 4.21, and municipals and co-ops gave it a 4.75.”

META Group analyst Zarko Sumic says that his clients strongly agree. “A utility’s customers are not all the same,” he points out. “Being able to respond to multiple and changing needs of different customer segments requires the flexibility you get from the leading customer care and billing systems. They enable customer service reps to answer questions quickly and completely because they have fast and easy access to customers’ complete records. In addition, modern customer care and billing systems also help utilities to configure and offer new products and services faster. In short, customer care and billing infrastructure underpins customer satisfaction.”

J.D. Power and Associates states that its study “is based on nearly 25,000 telephone interviews collected during April and May of 2003 with residential customers of the 77 largest electric utilities across the continental United States. Overall satisfaction is measured based on performance in five factors (in order of importance): power quality and reliability; company image; price and value; billing and payment; and customer service.”

The press release that is the source of the J.D. Power quotes above is on the web at http://www.jdpa.com/news/releases/pressrelease.asp?ID=2003062.

About SPL

As a provider of customer care and billing software, SPL WorldGroup helps energy and service companies achieve excellence in billing, customer care, sales and marketing.

SPL helps its clients attract, nurture and maximize the value of their customers.

From prospect management, billing and customer care through quoting and credit and collections, SPL provides energy, water and service companies with strategic options for managing residential, commercial and industrial customers in both regulated and competitive markets, across multi-product service lines.
Visit SPL WorldGroup at www.splwg.com

About Warren B. Causey, Ltd.

Warren B. Causey, Ltd., was founded in 1996 by Warren B. Causey, an independent researcher, writer and editor with more than 30 years of experience. The company produces written materials in a variety of formats, conducts primary and secondary research, and provides consulting. The Warren B. Causey, Ltd. CIS/CRM Report, Fourth Edition-2003, is available at www.wbcausey.com.

About META Group

META Group is a provider of information technology research, advisory services, and strategic consulting. Delivering objective and actionable guidance, META Group’s experienced analysts and consultants are trusted advisors to IT and business executives around the world. Visit www.metagroup.com for more details.

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