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Reputations are worth building – and protecting

"It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to ruin it." So said US founding father Benjamin Franklin, and sadly for utilities, his words remain true today. As research carried out exclusively for Utility Week reveals, the perception of the big six energy suppliers among their customers goes from bad to worse. It takes just one badly handled communication or damning national media story to denigrate a utility provider in the eyes of a customer. That same customer rarely if ever appreciates the utility at the moment they flip the light switch or turn on the tap. Moreover, with utilities a grudge purchase and a political hot potato, the companies make convenient whipping boys, with politicians and national press ever ready to do some tub thumping.

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