COSTA MESA, Calif.: 8 May 2019 — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that $473 billion in drinking water infrastructure investment will be needed during the next 20 years as aging pipes and treatment and storage facilities require upgrades and replacement. According to the J.D. Power 2019 Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study, released today, the ability of water utilities to successfully manage that process will increasingly be determined by how well they communicate with customers while also minimizing service interruptions and quality issues.
”The good news is that customer reports of water quality issues have been declining steadily from the highs we saw in 2016, and that’s having a positive effect on water utility customer satisfaction," said Andrew Heath, Senior Director of the Utility Practice at J.D. Power. “However, water utilities nationwide are staring down a period of massive infrastructure investment, construction and possible disruption.
Effective communication will be critical throughout the process."
Following are key findings of the 2019 study:
Proactive communications Have powerful effect, but few utilities deliver: Overall satisfaction scores afe 84 points higher when customers recall receiving a proactive communication from their utility (e.g., phone call, e-mail, text message, social media message) than when customers do not recall a proactive communication. Despite the powerful effect proactive communication has on customer satisfaction, just 28% of water utility customers recall receiving any communications.
Study Rankings by Region
The following utilities rank highest in customer satisfaction in their respective region:
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