Chief Executive Officer
Delivering Results: Five-Star Customer Service
By Tom Walch, Chief Executive Officer
Delivering results for the hometown consumers we serve – that’s the challenge Grand Valley Power employees have embraced for eight decades. As a local electric distribution utility, Grand Valley Power is a pretty small fish in a big sea. We have to come to terms with the fact that we don’t have much control over many factors that are critical to our success. Our wholesale power costs are driven by a cost-based formula that in turn is driven by environmental concerns and global market forces. The growth of our utility hinges on the boom and bust Western Slope economy, which in recent years has seen the bust outpace the boom. Reliability results are subject to the whims of weather, as well as a transmission system that crosses the most rugged mountainous terrain in the country.
Our Grand Valley Power team recognizes that if we are going to deliver results for our consumers, we need to focus on the things that we can control. That’s why we strive to set ourselves apart with outstanding customer service. That is how we can deliver value. To track how we’re doing, three years ago we started asking the folks we serve. Every time one of our service planners, servicemen or construction crews have scheduled contact with a consumer, we send out a follow-up survey. We ask consumers to rate the performance of our team members on a scale ranging from zero to five, with five being the highest rating possible. In 2014, 32 out of 36 survey respondents – almost 89 percent – gave our workers a rating of five. While that was good, it wasn’t good enough. We used those results to challenge ourselves to provide Five-Star customer service across the board.
Over the past three years, 115 out of 123 survey respondents – over 93 percent – have given us five stars. Almost as remarkable, over those three years, our team members have never received a single rating below four on this five-point scale. In 2016, 39 out of 41 of respondents – more than 95 percent – gave us five stars!
The surveys we send out give consumers a chance to provide specific comments, and tell us what we can do to improve our quality of service. The responses we receive are even better than the ratings. Here are some of my favorites:
- Perry Rupp [GVP service planner] was very helpful!
- Tom Holman [GVP service planner] is fabulous to work with
- Service was great! Good job
- Lineman was extremely helpful, professional and compassionate
- The men completing the job were courteous and when they left you couldn’t tell they have been here!
- Very pleased with courteous service
- I think my serviceman’s name is Clint [GVP service man Clint Blaylock]. He was very professional, quick, kind and efficient
- Keep on what you’re doing, very professional
- I don’t know how you improve excellent!!!
How can we improve? Tracking these results is a start. Setting ambitious goals helps us get better. Understanding our mission will help us get there. More than anything, though, taking pride in delivering results, every day, on every job, will help us improve.
Take another look at some of the adjectives consumers used to describe our team: helpful … fabulous … professional … compassionate … courteous … efficient … excellent …. These are the kind of people I want providing my electric service. These are the folks I’m proud to be associated with here at Grand Valley Power!
COMMENTS TO THE C.E.O.
You are a member of a cooperative and your opinion does count. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please let me know by writing to Ask the C.E.O., P.O. Box 190 Grand Junction, Colorado 81502, or send an email to Tom Walch.