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AEP ranks in top quartile for customer self-service channels

by on March 11, 2014
According to E Source, AEP was ranked in the top quartile in both interactive voice response systems (IVR) and website usability.

(Story by Ann Marie R Keifer)

While the Oscars recently recognized the top performers in Hollywood, E Source benchmarking recognized top utility performance in customer interaction, and AEP received two honors.

AEP was ranked in the top quartile in both interactive voice response systems (IVR) and website usability.

“Ranking in the top quartile among our peers is quite an achievement,” said Rob Cheripko, managing director, Customer Operations. “Our employees should be very proud of their efforts. They have been working diligently to provide our customers more convenient options, better information and ease of access. All this work is paying off with industry recognition and improved customer satisfaction.”

According to E Source, reviewers searched for and rated ten key features that residential customers want and expect to find on a utility IVR. The final score for each IVR is a combination of two factors: Was the feature available, and if so, how easy was it to use? The companies in the first quartile showed significant improvement in their scores since the last review in 2011. When scoring these criteria, companies can achieve a maximum of 1,000 points. This year, all of the companies in the first quartile rated above 700 points, with the top company IVR scoring 913. By comparison, in 2011, only eight of 21 utilities in the first quartile scored above 700, with the highest rating being 809.

Many customers are choosing to use utility websites to conduct their business. E Source’s benchmarking found that the look and feel of the utility websites showed improvement from previous years. “Top utilities are providing aesthetically pleasing websites by using big, bold text and bright colors. We found that more utilities are offering mobile-optimized features on their websites more than ever before,” said Haley Kaiser, market research services analyst at E Source.

“We have been working to improve our customers’ experience no matter what customer channel they choose,” said Tom Kirkpatrick, vice president, Customer Services, Marketing & Distribution Services. “This industry recognition shows that we are successful in our recent efforts and even exceeding some expectations. However, we could not achieve this without the hard work and dedication of our employees. I commend them for their creative and innovative ideas that are enhancing the customer experience with each idea and solution implemented.”

About E Source

For 25 years, E Source has been providing unbiased, objective research and advisory services to over 300 utilities and large energy users. Their energy experts have answered more than 8,000 questions over the past three years. This guidance helps its customers advance their efficiency programs, enhance customer relationships and use energy more efficiently.

From → News From AEP

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