Partnering for Brand Stewardship

By: Utility Service Partners

handshakeCommitment to unparalleled brand stewardship is demonstrated through Utility Service Partners (USP) outstanding brand reputation. USP manages all aspects of the National League of Cities (NLC) Service Line Warranty Program, including marketing, billing, customer service, the contractor network and completion of all repairs. Samples of campaign materials are provided to the city’s designated representatives for approval before mailing offers to promote the program. Homeowner campaign letters reference a partnership with the city, but are explicit in communicating that participation is optional and voluntary and clearly identify USP and the consumer-facing brand, Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA), as the program administrator.

Using a partnership approach rather than mailing directly to homeowners, USP protects the city’s image by giving homeowners the respect they deserve while providing an excellent resource for the community. Other service line warranty providers mail letters directly to residents, often without the knowledge of city administration. In some cases, their offers allude to having obtained city support by referencing city council, or state-level endorsement, even though the city has no knowledge of the mailing or the organization. Practices such as these may be considered deceptive or misleading and often result in State Attorney General, BBB and regulatory body complaints. Following these poor business practices may also impact City Hall with excessive calls from disgruntled residents questioning the validity of the offer.

Response to the warranty offer is much better when the city supports the program by permitting the use of the city seal and city name on the outer envelope and letter. The city seal assures residents that USP and the warranty offer are legitimate. Based on historical data, USP has found that with the city’s support, response rates typically range from 8% to 12%, with some as high as 19%.

USP takes every possible measure to protect the privacy of customers and partners. USP and affiliates do not share, sell or distribute city partner or customer information with third parties. USP’s commitment to preserve brand equity for the company, the NLC and partners is reinforced by a solid record, including:

  • an A+ Accredited Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating with registered entities
  • USP’s consumer brand, Service Line Warranties of America, was selected as the winner of the Western Pennsylvania Better Business Bureau 2013 Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics
  • a customer satisfaction rating exceeding 95%
  • a clean record with government agencies and regulatory bodies – for more than a decade

Limiting the number of mailings sent to residents, designing marketing communications that are transparent and easy to understand, and closely monitoring service delivery systems are key to ensuring customers are delighted with their service experience. It is USP/SLWA’s dedication to excellence that ensures the city’s brand equity is maintained.

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