Cooperative looking for feedback

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Barry Electric Cooperative is looking for feedback from its members. Over the next few weeks, Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc., will conduct telephone surveys for many of its member cooperatives in Missouri.

"We were really pleased with our 2010 response," said Bill Shiveley, Barry Electric Cooperative general manager and chief executive officer. "We had just had a rate increase in 2009, so we were a little concerned, but for overall satisfaction Barry Electric ranked second in the state. There was only one cooperative ranked higher and it was by less than two percentage points.

"That made us feel like we were doing a pretty good job," continued Shiveley. "This survey will give us a better feel of what our members think now."

Associated Electric conducts the survey once every three years. Each member cooperative makes the decision of whether or not to participate in the survey.

"The purpose of the survey is to get a feeling for members' satisfaction with service," said Shiveley. "The survey also looks at some usage patterns, energy efficiency and other things like that."

Participating cooperatives send Associated Electric a list of 500 names. Telephone calls are made to the households on the list until 250 responses have been collected.

"The questions will start with demographics," said Shiveley. "They don't want everyone surveyed to be 60 or all of them to be 19. They want results from all age groups."

Surveyors will also ask questions about education levels and economic status, said Shiveley.

"The will work to get a cross reference from all of our membership," added Shiveley.

The entire survey will be conducted over a 10 to 15 minute period. Surveyors will also ask a variety of questions about usage and service.

"Calls should start sometime this week and continue as long as it takes to get 250 responses," said Shiveley. "It usually takes a couple of weeks to complete."

A professional call center conducting the survey will identify themselves as calling on behalf of the cooperative. Calls will be conducted 5 to 8:30 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. No calls will be conducted on Sunday.

"We will get a summary of the information collected for our cooperative and a comparison of how we compare to other coops in the state," said Shiveley. "We will look at whether our members feel we offer a good value, decent response times and make an effort to respond to their needs.

"We will also look at where we have to do a better job of communicating with different age groups and what services members are requesting," added Shiveley.

Barry Electric officials will also learn which services its members are aware of and which services should be promoted more.

"They will ask things like if the member has a security light, uses a surge protection system, knows about our energy assistance programs, reads Rural Missouri and looks at our pages in that magazine," said Shiveley.

For more information on the survey, call Barry Electric Cooperative at 847-2131.

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