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SMECO Recognized as a J.D. Power 2012 Customer Service Champion
Hughesville, MD - 3/28/2012
Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) was recognized at the J.D. Power and Associates Customer Service Roundtable in Orlando, Florida, on March 14, 2012, as a 2012 Customer Service Champion. SMECO was one of only 50 companies to have earned this distinction this year.
To qualify for inclusion on this elite list, companies must not only excel within their own industry, but also must stand out among leading brands in 20 major industries evaluated by J.D. Power. The five factors measured included People, Presentation, Process, Product, and Price.
To identify the 2012 Customer Service Champions, J.D. Power evaluated more than 800 brands. The 2012 Champions were identified based on customer feedback, opinions, and perceptions gathered primarily from J.D. Power and Associates syndicated research in 2011. This group of 50 represents the highest-performing U.S. companies that deliver service excellence, both within their respective industry and across all industries measured.
“We are honored to receive this distinction and to be included in this elite group of U.S. companies. We are committed to customer satisfaction, and receiving this recognition from J.D. Power is an external confirmation of our efforts,” commented Austin J. Slater, Jr., SMECO president and CEO. He added, “As a co-op, customer service is a key element of our corporate values, and our employees embody those values.”
In 2011, SMECO was recognized by J.D. Power for ranking highest for a fourth consecutive year in the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study in the East region midsize utility segment. The study measures customer satisfaction with electric utility companies by examining six key factors: power quality and reliability; price; billing and payment; corporate citizenship; communications; and customer service.
SMECO is a customer-owned electric cooperative providing electricity to 152,000 services in Charles County, St. Mary’s County, southern Prince George’s County, and all but the northeast portion of Calvert County.
SMECO is proud to be named a J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Customer Service Champion and is only one of 50 U.S. companies so named.
Co-ops are distinctly different from investor-owned utilities because co-ops are owned by their customers, and customer-members elect the men and women who serve on the Board of Directors.
Co-ops also issue capital credits to their customer-members. What are capital credits? They are the member’s share of the co-op’s margins, based on how much electricity the member purchased and the rate at which the account was billed. SMECO’s margins (revenue less expenses) are used as working capital for new construction and system improvements. When SMECO’s Board of Directors determines that a percentage of the capital credits can be distributed to members through a general refund, capital credits will be issued by check or credited to members’ electric bills.
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