Grady Electric Membership Corporation provides power to more than 19,000 members through nearly 3,300 miles of line in southwest Georgia. The cooperative, which has served its local communities for more than 80 years, was looking for a program to provide emergency home repair plans for its membership.
Grady EMC ultimately chose to enter a partnership with HomeServe, the leading provider of home repair plans, primarily because HomeServe’s satisfaction rating of 4.4 stars with Reputation.com and 4.2 stars with Google.
“These outstanding customer satisfaction scores gave me the confidence to bring this program in front of our Board of Directors,” Adam Starr, Manager of Marketing and Member Services, said.
HomeServe provides a 24-hour Emergency Repair Hotline that is available 365 days a year. When a customer calls the dedicated hotline, they are connected with our U.S.-based operations center and our customer experience agents dispatch a licensed and insured contractor who is local to the customer. HomeServe pays the contractor directly up to the benefit amount, and there is no call out fees or deductibles. Repairs are guaranteed for one year.
HomeServe partners with more than 1,100 utilities throughout the U.S. and Canada to provide these emergency home repair services to more than 4.8 million customers. HomeServe’s network of pre-vetted contractors spans the nation, and after a job, customer satisfaction is surveyed and tracked. HomeServe also provides training for our partner utility employees to enhance their understanding of the program and help them guide members on how to contact HomeServe directly.
“HomeServe has taken the time to train our customer service representatives about the program and how to handle questions,” Adam said. “Our CSRs appreciate that their sole responsibility is to direct the Coop Member to HomeServe. They are encouraged to share that Grady EMC believes that this is a company that is providing a benefit to them, while reminding them that it is 100% optional.”
HomeServe also works with our utility partners to ensure that utility members understand their responsibility to maintain and repair their service connection. These communications are pre-approved by our utility partners and are mailed to membership at no cost to the partner.
“HomeServe has worked with us on some of the language,” Adam said. “We believe in the product and support the integrity that they have shown. Our message has been this: We believe that HomeServe is a reputable company and that they have programs that some members may find beneficial. They stand behind their work, so we are committed to stand behind them.”
Each partner utility has a dedicated HomeServe account manager who provides support, keeps partners abreast of program performance, works with partners on communications and fields questions and concerns.
“Communication has been great with HomeServe,” Adam said. “My account manager, Bob Bowen, sends me a report monthly that I take back to our board. Some of the information includes customer contracts, commission updates and specifics on the types of programs that our members have chosen.”
HomeServe is proud to be a corporate service provider of Touchstone Energy, and, since partnering with Touchstone, HomeServe has paid more than $100,000 in annual membership dues for our cooperative partners.
“Grady EMC was not previously a Touchstone member,” Adam said. “In partnering with HomeServe, a great perk has been this opportunity to join Touchstone without any financial obligations.”
Ultimately, the partnership is about bringing peace of mind to members who are concerned about their ability to pay for repairs to important whole-home systems, such as interior electric or gas fuel lines, and the service connections for which they are responsible.
Many homeowner insurance policies do not cover failure due to ordinary wear-and-tear. While some insurance companies offer a “rider” for these issues, homeowners usually are required to find and vet their own contractors, schedule the repair, pay out-of-pocket upfront and wait for reimbursement from the insurance company. Homeowners also may be subject to deductibles or increased premiums after a claim. HomeServe encourages all homeowners considering an emergency home repair plan to consult their homeowners’ insurance and understand their coverage.
“Every individual is different,” Adam said. “Some find a lot of comfort knowing that they have additional coverage in place, and others may be content to deal with issues out of pocket as they arise. I believe it is a benefit to our members to offer that comfort, and I am glad that it is optional.”
For information on how to partner with HomeServe and bring peace of mind to your members, contact us.