Thank You for Inconveniencing Me

February 3, 2020

Scenario 1: Old Timey Municipal Water Utility is upgrading a section of main and shuts off the supply. The service interruption comes without warning just as Mr. Neighbor is getting ready to rinse the shampoo out of his hair. He’s not happy. In fact, he’s 4% less happy with Old Timey than he was before he got in the shower.

Scenario 2: Modern Communicative Municipal Water Utility is upgrading a section of main and shuts off the supply. They provided ample notice to their customers warning them of the service interruption, so Mr. Neighbor planned accordingly and took his morning shower earlier. He’s happy. In fact, he’s 5.8% more happy with Modern Communicative than he was before he got the news about the shutoff.

It’s intuitive that when a customer has their water turned off they are less happy, but what is less intuitive is that a customer who has their water turned off but has notice of it is happier than if nothing had happened at all.

This was just one compelling takeaway from the The Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study conducted by JD Powers in 2018.

Here’s another:

When your customers hear from you, they are happier with you. In fact, customers who recall just 4 – 5 communications from their water utility are nearly 15% more satisfied than customers who recall none.

Sounds like a great reason to open the doors and start talking to the people you serve.