In Fall 2021, Cuivre River Electric Cooperative (CREC) along with 50 other co-ops in the state of Missouri, participated in the Triennial Member Satisfaction Survey conducted every three years by our power supplier, Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AECI).
In general, the survey focused on measuring member satisfaction and cooperative performance in several service and operations areas, such as contact experiences; handling problems; service reliability; outage restoration; rates and value, and cooperative principles. Feedback on additional areas such as communications, online account management, renewable energy, electric vehicles; and household energy use, was also collected.
As a part of the survey, four questions were asked to generate an American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) score: Overall Satisfaction, Meeting Expectations, Comparison to an Ideal Utility Company, and Likelihood to Choose Again. The questions were rated on a scale of 1-10, with 10 as the ideal score, and converted to a scale of 0-100 for reporting. Overall, CREC maintained its ACSI score of 89 -- the same score achieved in the 2018-2019 triennial survey -- and one of the highest among electric cooperatives. According to results from the 2021 National Survey on the Co-op Difference, the average ACSI score was 83, which puts CREC above the average of high-performing co-ops from around the country who participated in the survey.
In other key findings, on the same scale of 1-10, CREC achieved high marks (8,9, or 10) from members in these areas related to our co-op:
- Providing reliable service: 9.1
- Gives money back: 8.88
- Handling problems quickly: 8.87
- Restores power quickly: 8.87
When it came to views on balanced generation, 74% of CREC members agreed/strongly agreed that their cooperative should take a balanced approach to meet energy needs, however, they do not support legislation to move to carbon-free power generation that would entail a rise in costs. Member interest in electric vehicles is still low. About 75% of members were interested/very interested in consideration of lower, off-peak rates - that is, using certain appliances during off-peak evening and late-night hours.
Related to communication, members now prefer to receive the majority of their cooperative news via email, followed by the cooperative newsletter, Rural Missouri/Current Times. Participation in social media has increased significantly, especially with members 65 and older. Facebook and Youtube continue to be the most popular. Text messaging, followed by email, were the top choices for how members wished to be informed of outages.
All survey results will be used to help guide the co-op's strategic direction. The survey data can help prioritize opportunities for improving member satisfaction and engagement. "This kind of feedback from members helps ensure that we understand what is most important to them," said Doug Tracy, President and CEO. "We are so grateful for our members who were contacted and agreed to participate in the triennial survey. Your input matters very much," he said.
"We're also extremely proud to receive another score that puts us in the top tier of electric cooperatives in the nation. Service to our members is our top priority and we will continue to make that our focus."
The next triennial survey will be conducted in 2024-2025. For more information, please contact Mary Wilson, V.P., Strategic Communications at 636-695-4830, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about ACSI and other industry scores at theacsi.org.