For the first time, Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO), an American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) company, ranks No. 1 among midsize utilities in the South in the J.D. Power 2020 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction StudySM.
“From delivering safe, reliable and affordable electricity to helping businesses save energy and money, the SWEPCO Team is proud to be part of the strong and vibrant communities it serves. This award demonstrates our progress in pursuit of excellent customer service,” said Malcolm Smoak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer. “SWEPCO employees are committed to meeting customers’ expectations, especially with the challenges everyone is facing during the pandemic.”
SWEPCO scored highest in the midsize South segment of business customers for power quality and reliability; billing and payment; and customer contact. The J.D. Power study examines overall business customer satisfaction across six factors: power quality and reliability; corporate citizenship; price; billing and payment; communications; and customer contact.
“We’ve made customer satisfaction a priority, and we work hard at it every day,” Smoak said. “We’ve added customer-focused tools that take advantage of technology, improved our outage and storm communications, managed operating costs, and invested in facilities for a stronger and more reliable electric system. We put these tools to work when the pandemic limited our ability to interact with customers and the community and we faced unprecedented damage from Hurricanes Laura and Delta.”
To support our small business customers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, SWEPCO created a web-based resource center with information on federal aid made available to our customers. In addition, call center representatives provided dedicated support for small businesses that want to apply for federal Small Business Administration (SBA) programs.
The 2020 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study, now in its 22nd year, measures satisfaction among business customers of 86 targeted U.S. electric utilities, each of which serves more than 40,000 business customers. In aggregate, these utilities provide electricity to more than 12 million customers.
The study is based on responses from 18,457 online interviews of business customers in decision-making roles related to their utility company. The study was fielded from February through October 2020.