The Service Business–Yesterday's Passing Grade May Not be Enough for Today or Tomorrow

Customers' needs change as their habits and lifestyles evolve.

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Customers' needs change as their habits and lifestyles evolve. One of Utility Products' feature articles this month, "Service is our Business," discusses how consumer needs are changing and what several utility companies are doing to better service their customers. One utility company's enhanced web site enables the ever-increasing number of customers who prefer to receive and pay bills electronically to do so more easily; customers are also having better experiences on mobile devices, there is better access for the visually and hearing-impaired, and there is the ability to receive news via Really Simple Syndication. As the electric utility industry changes, the one-way flow of energy and information is being replaced by a distributed and multidirectional flow–with the customer becoming a more integral part.

Another great article, "Bidding for Success," presents important considerations when deciding which herbicides to use for right-of-way maintenance. Wildlife and sensitive surroundings, and identifying various tall-growing species and controlling them before they create problems for transmission lines must be taken into account. In one area, where 1,061 miles of line are evaluated under the North American Electric Reliability Corp., many wetland areas are an issue; other sites contain desirable endangered plants and, as a result, crews must be careful about where herbicides are applied while keeping lines clear and extending treatment cycles.

You also won't want to miss what took place at Utility Products Conference & Expo (UPCE) in Tampa. The second annual UPCE brought attendees the latest products, demonstrations, training and more. Bringing together buyers and sellers in the electrical, cable, telecom and other segments of the utility industry to network and learn, there was something for everyone. If you didn't make it to UPCE this year, make plans to attend in 2011!


John Tabor
Associate Editor

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