The six-year series in the United States of improving or fixing customer satisfaction with residential water services has ended due to a significant increase in monthly bills.
Over the last few years, customer satisfaction with water supply has either remained stable or steadily increasing. This has been achieved through investments in water quality, proactive customer communications and digital customer service channels.
Now, however, this has been washed away by the significant increase in monthly bills.
The finding comes with the kind assistance of JD Power 2022 US Customer Satisfaction Surveypublished by SM, illustrating the depressive effect of recent account jumps.
“The moment can’t get any worse,” said Andrew Heath, senior director of utility services at JD Power.
“Efforts to ease interest rates during the pandemic ended just as inflationary forces led to a significant increase in the monthly bills of household customers. Customer satisfaction has declined in every factor of the survey, as the average monthly US water bill has already risen by $ 5.73 compared to 2020 – with no corresponding increase in consumption.
“Utilities that want to combat this negative mood really need to take proactive customer communication and customer service seriously.”
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Customer satisfaction indicators
The decline in customer satisfaction coincides with an increase of $ 5.73 in the average monthly bill amount compared to 2020.
This same increase in costs does not correspond to the significant increase in water consumption that was observed in 2021, when the population of customers who are mostly at home consumed more water than ever before.
While satisfaction ratings have declined in every factor of the 2022 survey, the decline is most pronounced in the area of communications and pricing.
Overall satisfaction results were highest when customers recalled that they had received proactive electronic communication from their water company.
Similarly, the number of customers using digital channels to access customer service has increased by 43% since 2019, and customer satisfaction is highest when interacting with customer service digitally.
IN Survey of American Water Supply Customer Satisfactionnow in its seventh year, it measures the satisfaction among the household customers of 90 Water and Sewerage, which supplies water to at least 400,000 customers.
The study was reported in four geographical regions and two size categories: Midwest, Greater, Midwest, Greater Northeast, Northeast Middle, South Large, South Medium, Western Large, and Western Medium.
IN study may be available online.