In the last issue, I wrote about a utility’s innovative customer service policy of extending $25 courtesy credits to customers who received poor service.

That issue closed with the question “we’re a monopoly – why does customer service matter?” So, let’s examine some of those reasons.

It’s the right thing to do

Even if they can’t take their business elsewhere, your customers deserve to be treated with respect and receive good customer service. Granted, some customers have attitudes that make it difficult to want to help them, but good customer service representatives find a way to remain poised and explain the situation calmly.

It reflects positively on your organization

Excellent customer service reflects positively on your entire organization, from front line employees all the way to upper management. Providing poor customer service is truly a case of one bad apple spoiling the whole bunch.

It’s been my experience that employees who have a cavalier attitude about customer service generally approach the rest of their work in the same fashion. Do you really want a cashier who doesn’t care if they make change correctly or a billing clerk who isn’t concerned with a customer’s bill being correct?

You want your customers to speak well about your utility

Sooner or later, you will request a rate increase. For most utilities, this requires a public hearing, either before your board, or if you are a regulated utility, before your state’s utility commission.

The last thing you want is to have is your customers showing up to protest a rate increase by complaining about how they were treated by your staff.