ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 21

It is even more critical during these times to be listening to customers for
the purposes of identifying needs, responding whenever possible, being
empathetic and guiding the utility to the most impactful solutions.
Qualitative helps provide a human face and voice to the big data. Even in
this stay-at-home period, online bulletin boards and video conferencing
focus groups can provide these insights.
Panels/"Non-probability-based sources"-More research is relying on
panels to reach various populations. The "non-probability" aspects of panels
compete with the lower cost and faster speed associated with this tool.
AR and VR for product testing-Augmented and virtual reality provide
new levels of realism to the product testing processes-e.g. having homeowners walk through a simulated home to evaluate how they might use
a new smart device.
AI-AI continues to touch every element of our lives. Research is no
different and has or will affect research design, data collection, data processing and reporting.
When you think of the direction and future of utilities and customer
experience, it's going to be more customized programs. Qualitative data
from focus groups (virtual or live) or one-on-one conversations will remain
key to finding, sorting through, and using the right individualized data. The
more big data you have, the more you need to hear the actual voice of the
customer. Qualitative and quantitative research have to work together. If you
do one without the other, you're missing out on a lot.

ACTING ON THE FINDINGS-
THE PHILOSOPHY OF SAYING "YES"
When it comes to delivering on customer expectations, utilities should
be customer-centric or customer-sensitive, but not entirely customer-run
or customer-driven. Utilities still have to make sound business decisions;
on the other hand, striving to always say "yes" does push utilities (which
are often primarily "engineering-driven") to factor customers' needs and
wants as a major decision criteria. The "always say yes" mentality could help
some utilities push the service pendulum closer to more "customer-centric"
designs for programs and services. You have the ability to say no. "Saying
yes" is an attitude. It's a philosophy. First, find a way of trying to do it until
you can't and then find another alternative.
Some utilities we have worked with are significantly further along than
others when it comes to integrating customer experience into their culture.
One utility diagnoses customer experiences using journey mapping to
provide the customers' perspective on critical touch points. They compared

these journey maps with their internal business mapping processes to
identify gaps between how customers view their experience and how the
utility views a particular transaction or touch point.

STAYING CONNECTED IN A PHYSICALLY DISTANT TIME
As we all navigate this, customer needs will continue to change. We don't
really know what the future holds right now, but we do know that staying
in tune with customer needs is more critical than ever before. We also know
that while the impacts of COVID-19 will be monumental, electric utilities
are no stranger to keeping up with massive changes on a very grand scale.
Technology has always been on our side, and it will be the key to keeping
us all connected. 

ABOUT WESTGROUP RESEARCH
Founded as M.R. West Marketing Research in 1959, WestGroup
Research is a full-service research company headquartered in Phoenix,
Arizona. The company has been involved in major research efforts
undertaken nationally and, more recently, internationally for over
60 years. WestGroup conducts a range of research studies including
business-to-business, customer experience, employee opinion, product
tracking, market assessment, new product testing, brand/image and
advertising awareness.
WestGroup has worked in a broad range of industries, including electric
utility, healthcare, financial services, insurance, education, manufacturing, technology, non-profits, government, advertising and transportation. Electric utility companies that WestGroup has conducted research
with include Salt River Project, Duquesne Utility, Tucson Electric Power,
Arizona Public Service, Public Service New Mexico, Louisiana Gas and
Electric, and Portland General Electric.
A sample of non-electric utility clients that WestGroup is currently working with include, Apple, Spotify, Federal Express, Atlas
Copco, Nationwide Insurance, University of Montana, Arizona State
University, Kaiser Permanente, American Medical Response and Arizona
Office of Tourism.
WWW.RMEL.ORG  21


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ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020

Letter from the Executive Director
RMEL Board of Directors
Effective Communication & Culture Strategies in Times of Uncertainty
Overcoming Cybersecurity Overload & Security Impacts During COVID-19
Staying Connected to Customer Needs During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic
Now What? A Move to Post-COVID Operation With the Help of e-Learning
2020 Fall Convention
The RMEL Foundation Auction is Going VIRTUAL!
2020 Calendar of Events
Member Listings
Foundation Board of Directors List
Advertisers’ Index
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - Intro
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - bellyband1
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - bellyband2
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - cover1
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - cover2
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 3
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 4
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 5
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - Letter from the Executive Director
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 7
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - RMEL Board of Directors
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 9
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - Effective Communication & Culture Strategies in Times of Uncertainty
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 11
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 12
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 13
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - Overcoming Cybersecurity Overload & Security Impacts During COVID-19
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 15
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 16
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 17
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - Staying Connected to Customer Needs During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 19
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 20
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 21
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - Now What? A Move to Post-COVID Operation With the Help of e-Learning
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 23
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 24
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 25
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 26
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 27
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 2020 Fall Convention
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 29
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - The RMEL Foundation Auction is Going VIRTUAL!
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 2020 Calendar of Events
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - Member Listings
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - 33
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - Advertisers’ Index
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - cover3
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - cover4
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - outsert1
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - outsert2
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - outsert3
ELECTRIC ENERGY | SUMMER 2020 - outsert4
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