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PSEG LI’s Customer Satisfaction Journey

Are you in charge of the customer experience at your company? According to Jorge Jimenez, Director of Customer Experience & Utility Marketing at PSEG LI, no matter what your role is, that answer is yes. At this year’s CS Week conference, Jimenez told PSEG LI’s customer service success story, emerging from the lowest satisfaction ratings in the nation to JD Power’s most improved utility for three consecutive years. It’s an impressive feat that deserves recognition.

After taking over operations in 2014, PSEG LI embarked to re-invent the utility’s reputation amongst its customers. Considering its predecessor was performing in last place on every single JD Power score index, this was no easy feat. But thus far, PSEG LI is seeing great success with its customers, its employees, and its JD Power scores. It has gone from last place to the top quartile in business customer service, the 2nd quartile in residential customer service, and the 3rd quartile in residential power reliability, communications and corporate citizenship. How’s that for a comeback?

Jimenez walked his audience through the five steps PSEG LI has followed to ensure that dedication to customer service reigns throughout the company. These steps can be useful to any utility that is also looking to make, or is in the process of making, a customer-centric business transition:

  1. Make sure everyone is on the same page. PSEG LI created a mission statement that clearly defined its values, making sure everyone is focused on the right things. In short, the mission targets 5 key areas: safety above all, customer service, reliability and storm response, energy efficiency, and giving back to the community. The mission statement was dispersed and is frequently reinforced throughout the company.
  2. Make customer satisfaction everyone’s job. To do this, PSEG LI developed a well-rounded plan that contains three main pillars for success: support from senior leadership, cross-functional accountability, and consistent measurement and assessment. With senior leadership support, a cross-functional team for each segment of the JD Power survey was created, and a VP-level executive has been assigned to each one. The teams go through the JD Power survey question by question and identify 3-5 initiatives per segment to help drive up scores. The company also developed a steering committee that meets monthly to report on results and decide what new actions will generate the most impact. 
  3. Tell your story well, loud and often. PSEG LI coupled a multi-channel communications plan with a data-driven feedback loop to ensure it runs the most effective and impactful campaigns possible. It hosts radio, print and television ads and proactively posts to social media. PSEG LI uses an internal customer intelligence team to dig into JD Power data, as well as mine their own data from customer surveys and focus groups. This has helped the company learn that customer testimonials, pictures of crews working in harsh conditions and other real-life, people-oriented content resonates the most with its customers.
  4. Live your mission with tangible actions. Jimenez provided examples of how PSEG LI lives each of its values. For instance, when it comes to safety, PSEG LI has introduced safety-focused classes to its employees, routinely replaces old trucks and tools, and performs weekly check-ins to monitor things like motor vehicle and OSHA accident reports. The company also shows its dedication to safety within the community by doing things like teaching children about power safety and what actions to take in an emergency.
  5. Keep your employees engaged and informed. When initiatives gain momentum and start to see results, it’s important to make sure companies don’t lose steam. After PSEG LI’s JD Power scores initially went up, they introduced an internal campaign called “The Next 50” to challenge employees to get to the next 50-point score bump and maintain enthusiasm across the organization.

With these five steps, PSEG LI has made a complete 180 degree shift in how it thinks, plans and acts as a company, and the benefits have been tremendous. Its JD Power scores continue to climb, employees are highly engaged, and customers are seeing the PSEG LI brand in a new, much more positive light. Based off of this success, if you’re interested in ramping up your customer service efforts, it may be a good idea to work PSEG LI’s five steps into your own planning efforts.




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