It’s a new year—time to put new ideas into action. Here at South Plains Electric Cooperative, we’re always trying to come up with new ways to satisfy our members’ needs. We’ve found the best way to do that is by listening to your suggestions.
We surveyed our members in 2017 and appreciate everyone taking the time to answer our phone calls and survey questions. The first measure of how you think we are doing is in the form of the American Customer Satisfaction Index where we earned a 92, ranking us in the top 2 percent of electric cooperatives nationally. We still face the challenge of educating our members about the benefits of being members and not customers. We are in the people business more so than the electric business, so we want a close, personal relationship with our members and our communities. Everything we do every day is based on the goal of providing superior service at the lowest possible cost. Our employee team has a heart for service and goes out of its way to serve our members- that will continue in 2018!
The number 54 turned up a couple of times in our survey results.
Fifty-four percent of our members have been on our service for seven years or less. This is unusual for an electric cooperative, but with South Plains Electric serving the growth areas of Lubbock, it makes sense. Our new members need some extra attention, and we will expand our communications plan to reach out specifically to this group. And that dovetails into the next research result.
Fifty-four percent of our members want us to communicate with them electronically. They identified email, text messages or Facebook as the best way for the Cooperative to reach them. With 88 percent of our members having smartphones, we are anxious to reach out to them while they are on the go.
We currently offer two of the three communications requests. We have a vibrant, informative Facebook page where members learn about being a member, discover what their Cooperative is doing in the community, receive outage updates and enter fun contests. Follow us at Facebook.com/southplainselectric. We also redesigned our website at SPEC.coop with our mobile users top of mind. We have seen an increase in “contact us” form submissions since the launch, so we know our members are using the site to interact with us on their own time, and over 70 percent of members visiting our site are coming to use the online bill pay.
The Cooperative offers text messaging for outage reporting and a variety of account management reminders. To sign up for outage texting, text SPEC to 85700. Download our Smart App to manage your account including reminders and alerts for payment due dates and another easy way to report outages.
We will be answering members’ requests for email communication by premiering an email newsletter in 2018. We plan to distribute it monthly and promise to keep it short, informative and fun.
We are not taking away any of our current communications tools, such as this popular magazine, loved by members. We are just offering new ways for members to access the same information. Mobile members can access a digital copy of Texas Co-op Power magazine from our website.
The Cooperative offers an easy way to manage your electricity usage with Co-op Power PrePay. It allows you to pay in advance and monitor your usage on a daily basis. Members using PrePay love the control and the opportunity to save on their electric costs.
These services are just some of the ways we connect with you, as are the member service representatives who answer when you call or greet you when you visit our service offices. They help us offer the quality services you expect us to provide.
Listening improves understanding, builds trust, strengthens relationships and fosters cooperation. It’s also crucial to collaboration and success. That’s why our co-op employees still love face time with our members.
So, how do we serve you better in 2018? The same way many of us try to serve the community, society and family better each day: by listening. In our offices, on the phone, through social media exchanges and in our face-to-face meetings, we’re ready to listen.
When you have questions, stop by and see us, give us a call, message us on Facebook, or drop us a line through email, the website or regular mail. We’re always glad to hear from you!