Your ACSI Score: Four Ways to Boost It

by | Aug 20, 2019 | CSAT, Digital Customer Experience, Energy Cooperatives, Engagement, Member Service, Partnerships, Technology

Energy cooperatives have maintained their 73% satisfaction score between 2021 and 2022 according to the American Customer Service Index, even through extreme weather and unprecedented global events.  This is called the ASCI Score.

You already know the country’s aging infrastructure needs to be addressed, and many cooperatives already have plans in place to address it, but infrastructure isn’t quick or flashy. There are other things you can do to improve member perception and loyalty, and by doing so, improve your ACSI score.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Your ASCI score could be affected by your community outreach efforts.

Corporate Social Responsibility is one of the places where the industry didn’t meet consumer expectations, and that’s a shame, because positive consumer perception in this area can show up on the balance sheet.

In a survey, 94 percent of consumers said they would switch to a company that supports a cause, and 20 percent would pay more to a company that does so. Among U.S. consumers, 52 percent factor whether a company’s values align with their own, 87 percent will make a purchase from a company that supported a cause important to them, and 65 percent research companies’ CSR programs to determine whether they are sincere or “greenwashing,” putting on the appearance of social responsibility without the accompanying cultural changes.

Socially conscious Millennials spend their money with companies whose values align with their own, and Millennials have been dubbed Green Champions, those concerned with environmentalism – another area where the industry didn’t meet consumer expectations.

In short, being a good corporate citizen can not only improve member loyalty (and your ASCI Score!), but encourage them to spend more with you.

Perceived Value and Quality

Perceived value and quality, along with consumer expectations, are important benchmarks the ACSI takes into account when calculating and ASCI score.

While energy reliability is an important part of the services that you deliver to your members, you can boost this rating by offering energy services, energy efficiency products and other offerings through affinity partnerships. Offering a range of products or services can improve perceptions of success and quality.

It’s reported that member experience will be the most important factor, above price and features, by 2020, meaning that your residents’ perception of their relationship with your cooperative and the quality of your service will be more important to them than cost. As noted above, members will pay more for products and services if they can be linked to a cause that they care about.

A member who perceives your service to be of superior quality or value, is likely to become a loyal consumer. They will not only purchase your services over a comparable competitor’s, but recommend them to others.

Customer Service

Seventy-nine percent of energy providers believe themselves to be customer-centric, when only 7 percent of consumers believe the same thin, according to research. As the energy industry evolves, excellent service is becoming an area where cooperatives can differentiate themselves from the competition. The quality of member service also has an impact on your bottom line with JD Power finding that improved customer satisfaction means an increased return on equity for energy providers.

Improving the member journey can improve satisfaction. We have entered the digital age, and mebmbers want a multichannel experience, and you can use this to your benefit. Something as simple as a push notification when a service technician is on their way to a resident’s home can improve satisfaction.

Members want to speak to an empathetic agent at your call center, who understands their problem and provides a smooth transition between self-service to assisted service. Information can’t be siloed – your residents will be less frustrated when your agents have access to the big picture.

Partnership

Partnerships with third party providers are enabling cooperatives to offer value-added services and new products to help strengthen member relationships, because a co-op’s core business of delivering power and maintaining infrastructure requires vast resources.

Value-added services can fall under three main categories: energy services, such as surge protection, lighting, weatherproofing and electric vehicle storage; information services, such as home energy management systems, energy reports and real-time usage information; and home services, a developing market that includes home inspection, landscaping, emergency home repair plans and bundled services, such as home security systems.

According to research conducted by HomeServe, those residents who received an emergency home repair plan through their cooperative rated their provider higher than those who didn’t have policies. This is just one more offering that could lead to a better ASCI Score.

Cooperatives are looking for opportunities to connect more deeply with members. HomeServe helps to improve member engagement for our energy partners through the integration of complementary home repair programs with co-op initiatives such as energy efficiency and safety, offering residents greater access and choice. Partnership allows the co-op to leverage HomeServe’s marketing and communications expertise to educate their members through a variety of channels. For more information, contact us.

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