Yesterday, I wrote about Pepco’s latest print ad, where they find customers who think Pepco does really well. And today, in the Washington Post, there’s an article entitled “Pepco defends its response to derecho storm, saying it “mobilized quickly.”The article makes clear that Pepco wants to change the perception that it responded slowly and badly. It says:
Pepco vigorously defended itself Monday in its first self-assessments since last month’s derecho storm, saying it responded aggressively and effectively to restore power to nearly half a million customers left sweltering in the dark. The electric company accepted limited responsibility for software glitches that affected tens of thousands of calls for service and for its inability to give customers a better sense of when their power would be restored.
Apparently, Pepco has decided that its communication strategy is to aggressively tamp down on any criticism of its service. What a contrast from Verizon, which today has a letter to the editor in the Washington Post where it apologizes for disruptions to 911 calling that occurred in the aftermath of the derecho.
The problem with Pepco’s communication strategy is that, as I have pointed out before, it doesn’t acknowledge reality. In this case, the reality is customers were rightfully frustrated. By not recognizing genuine complaints, the company is effectively hedging against doing anything to fix those problems.
What do you think? Does this strategy work for Pepco, or does it further deteriorate its public image?