WPPI Energy’s 51 member utilities together claimed the top overall ranking in E Source’s national small and midsize business (SMB) customer satisfaction survey.

This year marked the 11th edition of the large business study and more than 1,400 customers participated.

The 5th edition of the small and midsize business (SMB) study included more than 3,300 completed surveys. The national studies identify the best utilities in business customer satisfaction, highlight the top attributes that lead to higher satisfaction scores, and deliver insights for product planning.

The E Source Business Customer Satisfaction measures Gap and Priority Benchmarks that are critical resources for understanding the voice of the customer and determining how utilities can provide even more value to their business customers.

By testing several attributes for importance and performance, the survey identifies the biggest gaps and makes actionable recommendations for improvement. Each utility participant comes away with a greater understanding of the priorities, needs, and preferences that make their business customers unique.

Headquartered in the Sun Prairie Business Park, WPPI Energy secured the top spot in the SMB benchmark.

Of the utilities in the study, WPPI Energy earned the highest scores for four of the eight attributes in the study. The utility earned its highest score for “providing reliable energy.” When it comes to maintaining customer trust, WPPI Energy leads the way with the highest scores for utility and account reps alike.

WPPI Energy members earned the highest scores in four out of eight categories in the SMB survey, including providing reliable energy.

“Highly reliable local electric service is a hallmark of community-owned, public power utilities,” said Sun Prairie Utilities General Manager Rick Wicklund. “It’s our top priority, and it’s what customers consistently tell us they value most.”

Other categories in which WPPI members claimed top honors were:

• Offering a variety of rate options, programs and services;

• Trustworthiness; and

• Being active in the community.

“It’s no surprise for us to see WPPI Energy members lead the way when it comes to meeting customer expectations,” commented WPPI Vice President of Energy Services Jake Oelke. “Our community-owned, not-for-profit, member utilities exist for the benefit of the people and businesses they serve, and satisfying customers is how they measure their success.”

Oelke said he believes the survey is an accurate reflection of how customers view WPPI Energy and its members.

“Meeting customer expectations is the leading measure of success for our 51 community-owned member utilities,” Oelke added. “The E Source Gap and Priority Benchmarks play an important part in understanding those expectations and in keeping our customer services and communication strategies relevant.”

WPPI Energy’s headquarters is located at at 1425 Corporate Center Drive in the Sun Prairie Business Park. Not-for-profit WPPI Energy supplies wholesale electric power to Sun Prairie Utilities and 50 other community-owned utilities in Wisconsin, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and Iowa. Together, WPPI Energy’s member utilities provide reliable, affordable, responsible electric service to more than 200,000 homes and businesses.

Business customers identified reliability as the most important attribute for a utility to possess, followed closely by effective outage communications and trustworthiness. The survey helps utilities and account managers understand where they’re falling short of customers’ expectations and then works with them to create a path to close the gap between importance and performance ratings.

In terms of large business customer satisfaction, Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) earned the top honor. In addition to being reliable, KUB scored highly for trustworthiness and effective communications around its efforts to keep prices down.

“KUB is pleased to have been rated number one in the large business customer satisfaction benchmark,” said Kendall Stiles, manager of customer support and key accounts at the utility.

“These surveys are beneficial because they show us what types of services and interactions our larger customers expect from us, which in turn allows us to adjust our strategies to continually provide a high level of customer service,” Stiles said. “We’re appreciative of the services E Source offers that help us to evaluate and improve our account management tools.”

The top-ranked utilities from both studies will be honored at the 2019 E Source Forum in Denver, Sept. 17–20.

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