Water utility customers cite many more quality issues than epa reports indicate, j.d. power finds electricity worksheets grade 6

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"While the mandated water quality reports produced by regional water authorities do a great job of measuring specific water quality issues, they are not telling the whole story when it comes to perceptions of the water that is coming out of customers’ faucets," said Andrew Heath, Senior Director of the Utility Practice at J.D. Power. "Whether it’s a serious problem like high lead or mineral counts, or a more subjective issue like bad taste or low pressure, a significant number of residential water utility customers are not happy with the product. Water utilities need to understand why customer views are not matching the views of the water utility and need to address these concerns."

• Nearly one-third of customers report quality problems: Among the 30% of residential water utility customers who mention a quality problem, 12% cite low pressure; 11% cite bad taste; 8% cite scaling/water hardness; 8% cite discoloration; 6% cite bad smell; and 4% cite high lead/mineral content.

• Wide variation in customer perceptions of water quality: Significant differences across the nation are found from the best water utilities having less than 20% of their customers indicating a problem with water quality to many utilities having more than 40% of their customers citing a water quality problem. One utility has more than half of its customers reporting a water quality problem.

• Water quality problems sink customer satisfaction: Customers who experience water quality problems have significantly lower delivery satisfaction scores than those who experience no problems. Bad taste and scaling/water hardness are associated with 143-point declines (on a 1,000-point scale) in delivery satisfaction scores, while scaling/water hardness and bad smell are both associated with a 152-point decline.

• Communication is key when implementing upgrades: One of the most negative effects on satisfaction is a service interruption caused by pipeline work. Satisfaction scores are 42 points lower among those experiencing pipeline work-related service interruptions than those among customers who experience no interruptions. However, when customers have previously been made aware of water utility system upgrades, satisfaction scores are 58 points higher among those who experience no service interruptions.

• Frequent communication maximizes satisfaction: Customers who recall receiving four to five communications from their water utility have communications satisfaction scores that are 148 points higher than among those who do not recall receiving any direct communications.

The Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study, now in its third year, measures satisfaction among residential customers of 88 water utilities, delivering water to a population of at least 400,000 people and is reported in four geographic regions: Midwest, Northeast, South and West. Overall satisfaction is measured by examining 33 attributes within six factors (listed in order of importance): delivery; price; conservation; billing and payment; communications; and customer service.

J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., and has offices serving North/ South America, Asia Pacific and Europe. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments and private equity firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer.