Escalent Names 2020 Business Customer Champions, Finds Digital Touchpoints Strengthen Utility-Business Relationships

December 21, 2020

Utilities that develop digital touchpoints are being rewarded with stronger relationships with their business clients. A historic number of businesses report contacting their utility via digital channels for service (79%) or recall utility communications via digital channels (60%) this year. These digital interactions have led to stronger customer engagement, evident by a 24-point YOY increase in the industry’s business Engaged Customer Relationship (ECR) index. These and other findings are from the 2020 Cogent Syndicated Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Business study by Escalent, a top human behavior and analytics firm.

Escalent’s ECR score is a composite index of Service Satisfaction, Brand Trust and Product Experience. Satisfaction with digital outreach, communication and service support boosted each of these component measures, leading to an overall industry business ECR score of 786 (on a 1,000-point-maximum scale) for the year. Among customers who reported having a digital interaction with their utility, ECR and all three component scores were even higher, showing the power of digital interactions to further build these relationships.

2019 2020 Change

Among those who had digital interactions

Engaged Customer Relationship (ECR)

762 786 +24


Brand Trust

745 774 +29


Product Experience

755 779 +24


Service Satisfaction

780 801 +21


Scoring based upon a 1,000-point-maximum scale; interactions for service or communications

“Business customers became much more engaged with their utilities during this trying year. Utilities increased digital experiences and spending on communications to support these customers,” said Chris Oberle, senior vice president at Escalent. “This year, omniservice became a reality for the utility industry as businesses used an average of three service channels, all including some type of digital access. With high preference for digital service, businesses are more likely to use these channels in the future.”

Escalent congratulates the 23 utilities designated 2020 Business Customer Champions.  These utilities earned the industry’s highest ECR scores by providing world-class customer experiences during a time of greatest customer need.

2020 Cogent Syndicated Business Utility Customer Champions

AEP Ohio Kentucky Utilities
CenterPoint Energy – Midwest Los Angeles Department of Water & Power
CenterPoint Energy – South National Grid
Con Edison NV Energy
Consumers Energy PECO Energy
Dominion Energy Virginia PSE&G
DTE Energy Public Service Company of Oklahoma
Duke Energy Carolinas Puget Sound Energy
Duke Energy Florida Southern California Edison
Duke Energy Midwest TECO Tampa Electric
Florida Power & Light Xcel Energy – West
Georgia Power

The following charts reflect the ECR scores for the 77 utilities covered in the study.

East Region Utility Brands Engaged Customer Relationship index
Con Edison 833
PECO 825
National Grid 809
PSE&G 807
PPL Electric Utilities 783
BGE 778
West Penn Power 769
PSEG Long Island 763
Jersey Central Power & Light 762
Appalachian Power 757
Eversource 755
Penelec 723
Midwest Region Utility Brands Engaged Customer Relationship index
AEP Ohio 829
Duke Energy Midwest 818
DTE Energy 811
Consumers Energy 805
CenterPoint Energy – Midwest 803
Ameren Missouri 799
Dayton Power & Light 791
Nicor Gas 782
Indiana Michigan Power 782
Xcel Energy – Midwest 782
Alliant Energy 778
Ameren Illinois 776
ComEd 773
Dominion Energy Ohio 772
Indianapolis Power & Light 771
We Energies 767
Ohio Edison 764
MidAmerican Energy 762
Wisconsin Public Service 758
The Illuminating Company 756
Evergy 756
OPPD 752
South Region Utility Brands Engaged Customer Relationship index
Dominion Energy Virginia 829
Public Service Company of Oklahoma 813
Kentucky Utilities 810
Duke Energy Carolinas 808
TECO Tampa Electric 807
Florida Power & Light 805
CenterPoint Energy – South 802
Duke Energy Florida 801
Georgia Power 800
Dominion Energy North Carolina 796
El Paso Electric 794
Virginia Natural Gas 793
Duke Energy Progress 793
Chattanooga Gas Company 790
Entergy 789
Southwest Electric Power Company 783
Mississippi Power 776
CPS Energy 776
Alabama Power 770
Louisville Gas & Electric 770
Dominion Energy South Carolina 763
OG&E 756
Gulf Power 741
West Region Utility Brands Engaged Customer Relationship index
Xcel Energy – West 825
NV Energy 820
Puget Sound Energy 814
Southern California Edison 807
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power 804
Salt River Project 796
Portland General Electric 793
SDG&E 792
Idaho Power 786
SMUD 784
Dominion Energy West 773
APS 772
NorthWestern Energy 768
PNM 768
PG&E 767
Pacific Power 764
Rocky Mountain Power 718

About Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Business

Escalent conducted surveys among 14,980 business electric, natural gas and combination utility customers of the 77 largest US utility companies (based on business customer counts). Utilities are given equal weight to balance the influence of each utility’s customers on survey results. Escalent will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.


Click below to learn more about the full report.

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