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CREC employees help cooperative reach new benchmark in customer satisfaction

Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 9:15 am

Cuivre River Electric Cooperative employees have helped the cooperative reach a new benchmark in customer satisfaction, raising the bar from an American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) of 90 last year to an unprecedented 92.

“We’re thrilled to learn that our customers — our members — hold us in such high regard,” says General Manager/CEO Dan L. Brown. Scores of 90 or higher are rare among all U.S. industries.

The ACSI Energy Utilities Index measures the U.S. top 30 investor-owned gas and electric utilities. The utility average for the survey period is 76. Regarding other industries, e-commerce giant Google scored 82, Facebook 61.

The Index is derived from member responses that focus on satisfaction, ideal utility qualities, expectations and loyalty. The independent survey included a random selection of Cuivre River’s residential customers. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percent with a 95 percent degree of probability.

Cuivre River’s annual survey project, which includes ACSI core questions and other topics, helps the cooperative learn how it’s doing in the eyes of its members. “As a cooperative, serving our members is our top priority,” Brown says. “This is one way they can tell us if we’re doing our job, and where we are falling short.”

The random survey reached Cuivre River members in 39 different zip code areas, as well as a broad range of age groups. Some respondents had been Cuivre River customers less than a year (8 percent), others more than 30 years (10 percent).

Nearly 53 percent of participants had either called or visited a Cuivre River office during the past year, representing a high level of employee contact. Inquiries included bill payment or information, reporting problems, establishing service, outages and other requests.

“The high degree of contact with our employees makes our score very personal,” says Brown. In addition to core ACSI questions, members were asked about their interactions with employees. On a scale of one (strongly disagree) to 10 (strongly agree), respondents said employees were courteous and professional (9.48 avg.), as well as competent and knowledgeable (9.51 avg.).

“I can’t say enough good things about our employees,” says Brown. “They are doing a great job for our members, often in tough circumstances for everyone.”

“We’re grateful that our members agree to participate in our surveys,” says Mary Jane Clark, who oversees the survey project each year. More than seven of every 10 members selected at random gave their opinions when they were called.

Cuivre River Electric Cooperative distributes electricity to 60,000 member homes and businesses in St. Charles, Lincoln, Warren and Pike counties, and has 133 local employees. Offices are located in Troy and Lake Saint Louis. For more information about Cuivre River visit For more information about ACSI visit