Gaining A Better Understanding of Cooperative Business Members
Over the years, electric cooperatives have devoted significant resources to large commercial and industrial accounts. Key account programs have established a clear understanding of this business segment.
A similar level of insight with small to medium business accounts has generally been lacking. Little is known about their perceptions of the cooperative, their needs as energy decision makers and in many cases even what businesses they are in.
Monitoring System Designed by Cooperatives for Cooperatives
Recognizing the gap in knowledge and uncertainty surrounding the needs of this important member segment, Cobb EMC (GA), EnergyUnited (NC), Northern Virginia EC and Rappahannock EC (VA) partnered with Cooperative Insights to create a unique customer feedback tool.
Enrollment in the Business Member Satisfaction Tracking System has now grown to include a significant number of the largest and fastest growing electric cooperatives throughout the United States.
How Does Your Performance With Members Affect Their Perceptions?
The Business Member Satisfaction Tracking System is designed to monitor your member’s perception of your cooperative on an on- going basis. Telephone interviews are conducted to provide feedback from business members on their overall satisfaction with their cooperative and its performance across a range of service attributes including:
Ethical business practices
Offering energy products and services
Value for the money
Flexible rate options
Handling complaints and problems
Providing timely communications
Business members are randomly selected from cooperative billing data. Interviews typically occur quarterly, although the frequency of customer contact is flexible.
Interview systems solicit and capture customer comments, facilitating follow-up by member services staff and providing opportunities to improve relationships.
Survey results are analyzed and tabulated on a quarterly and annual basis to provide on-going and timely feedback. Reports include:
Trends in overall satisfaction
Performance ratings by service attribute
Benchmarks from the participant pool
Member retention and loyalty measures
Verbatim comments from members
Business demographic information
Customer Service Leads
Systems are in place to quickly notify the cooperative when a member requests follow-up on an unresolved issue or energy-related concern. This lead generator allows you to proactively resolve any concerns expressed or act on energy services opportunities.
“With Cooperative Insights’ tracking system, we have been able to extend our staff by professionally and effectively interviewing our most at-risk market” - Jim Gantt, Cobb EMC
Each quarter, survey results are pooled from participating cooperatives to create performance benchmarks. These aggregate results enable each cooperative to measure their individual performance against other participants while maintaining the confidentiality of their own data.
The benchmarking process highlights the largest opportunities for enhancing satisfaction with business consumers and reveals best-of- class performance. Furthermore, pooling knowledge from all system participants gives each cooperative access to greater market intelligence than they could attain alone, such as identifying the key drivers of satisfaction.
Proven Track Record
Cooperative Insights, owned by North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, has been providing custom market research intelligence to electric cooperatives since 1997. Our Member Satisfaction Tracking Systems have been operating since 1997 and are currently used by dozens of cooperatives throughout America.