Members say reliability is top priority
Results from the 23rd Annual Member Satisfaction Survey conducted in the first quarter of 2018 show that reliability is the top service priority chosen by 61 percent of Cuivre River members who participated in the 2018 survey. Affordability ranked second, as the chief concern among 35 percent of survey respondents. Environmental qualities remain in distant third place as the main concern for the remaining four percent of members responding.
When asked how Cuivre River's rates compare with other utilities, 86 percent said their rates were average to below average. Regarding reliability, 91 percent responded their service was "very reliable."
The 2018 survey was conducted by Inside Information, an independent research organization in Smithville, Mo. The project sought opinions from a randomly selected group of residential members by using a hybrid strategy to obtain responses by phone and online. Results have a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percent and a 95 percent probability.
In addition to electric service attributes, the survey assessed member satisfaction and perceptions of the cooperative's performance in several other areas.
The survey was composed of 20 questions, including the four questions developed by the ACSI that focused on the following attributes: overall satisfaction, confirmation of expectations, comparison to an ideal utility company and intention to choose Cuivre River again. Members rated each on a scale of one to 10, with 10 representing the highest rating. The ACSI used the first three questions to calculate the Customer Satisfaction Index score (ACSI®) on a scale of 0-100 and derived a customer retention percentage using the fourth question.
Other key findings were high ratings (a score of 8, 9 or 10) for:
- Courteous and professional employees (90%)
- Prompt outage response (83%)
- Giving money back (80%)
More than 58 percent of respondents identified themselves as more than just a customer. Ten percent had been Cuivre River members for less than one year; 50 percent had been members for 10 years or less.
About four in 10 members contacted the cooperative during the past year; 94 percent said employees were responsive to their concerns or problems.
Efforts to help members learn to manage energy costs were rated six out of 10, indicating there is room for improvement.
Paying monthly electric bills online with their bank was the preferred method among 32 percent of respondents. Bank drafts were preferred by 21 percent, and 20 percent continue to pay bills by mail. About 19 percent reported they pay online through the cooperative. When asked about their interest in receiving high bill alerts, 42 percent expressed high interest in this service. Email was the preferred notification method preferred by (44 percent), followed by text messaging (39 percent) and phone calls.
Members also responded to questions about how the cooperative provides information, including the Current Times/Rural Missouri, website use, the MyCuivreApp, and media preferences.
"We are responding to survey comments and working to improve the way we help members," says Manager of Communications Mary Wilson. The communications department coordinates the annual survey project. The cooperative is working to expand personal communications including the use of social media, text messaging, email and MyCuivreApp, and to promote annual meeting voting participation to engage members with co-op values.
"Member Satisfaction is paramount," said General Manager/CEO Doug Tracy. "We work for the members, and answer to them for the way we conduct their business," he added. "As a cooperative, we exist to serve our members' needs and work to meet or exceed their expectations. Our first priority every day is to do it well, and with gratitude for their support," he concluded.
To learn more about the Annual Member Satisfaction Survey project contact the Communications Department at 800-392-3709 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the American Customer Satisfaction Index and other industry scores visit: www.theacsi.org.