MLGW Posted Highest Year-Over-Year Increase in Latest J.D. Power survey.
Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division posted the largest year-over-year score increase among midsized utilities in the midpoint of the 2015 J.D. Power & Associates Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Survey. The increase is compared to the same period in the 2014 survey.
MLGW President and Chief Executive Officer Jerry R. Collins Jr. said the improvement is further proof of how the focus on providing great service and low rates changed perceptions of the utility. “From a performance standpoint, [the J.D. Power score] is a good indicator of how we are doing,” he said.
MLGW’s score, once the lowest, now surpasses 94 out of 140 utilities covered in the quarterly-survey, said Collins, adding “And we’re working our way to the top.”
The year-long survey, which begins conducting interviews each July, covers six primary categories: customer service, power quality and reliability, price, communications, corporate citizenship and billing and payment. Collins said MLGW’s increase is attributable to breathtakingly low rates and improved customer service.
For the past several years, MLGW has posted the lowest combined residential utility bill among 50 cities surveyed in an annual rates comparison. “And the gap is growing between MLGW and all other utilities,” Collins said. “That’s something which customers can appreciate because it improves their quality of life and their standard of living because they don’t have to spend so much on utilities.”
On the customer service front, MLGW has managed to reduce wait times and the amount of calls in its Call Center, added more self-help options like MLGW Web Chat (which receives 500 to 600 chats a week), enabled customers to pay their bills via credit card, and is expanding service offerings like smart meters. MLGW will install 50,000 more smart meters in 2015.
“It’s been shown across the country, among those utilities who embrace technology, that smart meters have high levels of customer satisfaction,” said Collins. “It’s a way to empower customers.”
MLGW is the largest three-service public power utility in the nation, serving more than 420,000 customers in Memphis and Shelby County.