Portrait of a successful midsized utility

Portrait of a successful midsized utility

How does a utility company become a resounding success and a great example of how best to serve the local community?

Customer centricity is the name of the game. Putting the customer in the center enables business growth by delivering the customer experience and satisfaction, creating loyal customers and attracting brand new users, all while stemming churn.

Let’s take a look at Chattanooga, Tennessee’s EPB Fiber, a midsized utility company that offers electricity, internet and telecommunications services to over 170,000 customers in a radius of 1000 kilometers.

EPB Fiber, formerly known as EPB Telecom, recently received an award from the J.D. Power Company for the second year in a row as the top rated midsize utility in the Southern US. What is their secret? Offering leading edge technology options to their customers and creating a compelling experience for the consumer, all at the same time.

Many of the technology investments made by EPB Fiber have focused on the customer billing and customer satisfaction departments. Keys to their success include the introduction of electronic and mobile bill pay options, mobile access to web site data and paperless communications. In addition, the company released the myEPB app, which provides access to real time smart grid data so customers can manage their accounts, track energy usage and stay aware of outages and restoration efforts.

David Wade, CEO of EPB Fiber, remarked, “J.D. Power re-affirms that our customers place a lot of value on the leading-edge technology that EPB continues to put to work for them, that is backed with personalized customer service.”

While J.D. Power notes the pace of implementing satisfaction improvements at utilities can be slower than in other industries, the more advanced technology services like electronic bill pay options are increasingly desired by utility customers. “The utility industry has begun to fully understand the importance of customer satisfaction over the past several years, and now many have dedicated leaders and teams focused on improving the customer experience,” said John Hazen, senior director of the energy practice at J.D. Power.


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