The reputation of electric cooperatives, which are recognized as consumer-directed, consumer-driven businesses, is being tested by the ever-changing developments emerging in the electric industry. It is a given that quality will assume considerable significance and become a top priority with the introduction of competition to an electric utility industry that is being deregulated. Retail wheeling has already become a reality in 14 states and if legislation mandating it is passed in other states, consumers will be allowed to make decisions that will improve the value and, more significantly, the survival of electric utilities. With regard to electric cooperatives, the potential for choice requires a new focus, which is understanding consumers, measuring their satisfaction and strategically managing the cooperative's relation with them.
Building the consumer relationship through operation dialogue.
The co-up reputation is on the line. Coops are known as consumer-directed, consumer-driven businesses. That quality takes front and center with the coming of competition to the electric utility industry. If retail wheeling becomes a reality in your state, as it already has in 14 states, consumers will make decisions that will determine the value and, indeed, the survival of an electric utility.If there is customer choice, how customers evaluate the products, price and services from their utility will determine which utility wins and which utility loses. And even if there is no competition, we all know the value of satisfied consumers. That's our business. We have long said that we are close to our consumers. But the potential for choice demands a new focus: on understanding today's consumers, on meas...