Cogent Reports: Outage Experiences That Improve Customer Satisfaction

New Cogent Energy Gold Report shares how utilities can enhance
satisfaction and trust through outages

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–While most utilities see customer satisfaction drop when customers
experience an outage, a new report shows that some utilities have been
able to use outages to enhance customer satisfaction and trust in their
brand. How they accomplish this—and what other utilities can learn from
their results—is explored in Increasing
Brand Trust and Satisfaction Through Outages
a Cogent™ Energy
Gold Report from Market
Strategies International

Part of the reason consumer satisfaction and trust decline when a
consumer experiences an outage is linked to the cause of the outage.
According to our research, weather-related outages have declined by 5
percent, but planned service interruptions have nearly doubled from 4
percent to 7 percent. Customers are much more understanding when an
outage is due to unforeseen circumstances than when an outage appears to
be within the control of the utility.

“Our industry has long viewed outages as something that depresses
customer satisfaction and trust, but our research indicates that it is
possible to use outages to enhance the utility-customer relationship,”
said K.C. Boyce, senior product director and author of the report. “This
mindset shift can feel counterintuitive and uncomfortable; however, our
research showcases multiple solutions that are highly effective—many of
which are extremely low cost and easy to implement.”

Increasing Brand Trust and Satisfaction Through Outages is the first
report in a new line of Cogent Reports best practice studies called Cogent
Energy Gold Reports
. These reports synthesize Cogent’s quantitative
consumer research with strategic insights and interviews with
high-scoring utilities and provide an in-depth exploration of current
and emerging business challenges among utilities.

The Cogent Energy Gold Reports provide unique insights into how
top-performing utilities have successfully managed their customer
relationships. Increasing Brand Trust and Satisfaction Through Outages
is available now and allows utilities to:

  • Understand where and how to focus their efforts to turn an outage into
    a brand-building opportunity
  • Determine the critical path for outage communication improvement
  • Identify which technologies and approaches get results with customers
  • Connect with outage communication leaders at featured utilities

“Based on the depth of our Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™
research, we can go beyond telling stories about utility customer
engagement approaches to identifying true best practices in the market,”
said Chris Oberle, senior vice president at Market Strategies. “When we
saw that there were utilities successfully increasing trust and
satisfaction through outages, we knew we had to dig deeper to find out

About Increasing Brand Trust and Satisfaction Through Outages

Cogent Reports conducted surveys among 54,693 residential electric,
natural gas and combination utility customers of the 130 largest US
utility companies (based on residential customer counts). The sample
design uses US census data and strict quotas to ensure a demographically
balanced sample of each evaluated utility’s customers based on age,
gender, income, race and ethnicity. Utilities within the same region and
of the same type (e.g., electric-only providers) are given equal weight
in order to balance the influence of each utility’s customers on survey
results. Case studies in the report include Seattle City Light,
Baltimore Gas & Electric and Mississippi Power. Market Strategies will
supply the exact wording of any survey questions upon request.

About Market Strategies International

Strategies International
is one of the largest market research firms
in the US and is a leading provider of research and consulting services
to utility management. We blend primary research with data from our
syndicated, benchmarking and self-funded studies as well as Big Data to
help our clients grow their businesses and brands. Market Strategies’
research specialties include brand, communications, CX, product
development and segmentation. Our syndicated products, known as Cogent
Reports, are the energy sector’s industry-leading source and diagnostic
tool designed to transform how clients can maximize revenue potential
and identify issues and topics that will shape their business models and
the future direction of the industry.

Founded in 1989, Market Strategies is one of the largest market research
firms in the world, with offices in the US, Canada and China and
additional industry expertise in consumer & retail, financial services,
healthcare, technology and telecommunications. Read Market Strategies’
blog at FreshMR,
and follow us on Facebook,
and LinkedIn.


Market Strategies International
Anne Denz, 617.715.7611