Charter UK calls for a renewed focus on customer service in the energy sector.
Charter UK is calling for a renewed focus on customer service in the energy sector after new research from Which? and the Customer Engagement Institute (CEI) revealed that the UK's biggest energy firms need to raise standards.
"If you look at the top energy companies that account for 98% of the market, none rank above ninth place in the Which? report," explains Paul Clark, CEO of Charter UK. "More damaging still is the CEI survey, which reveals that just 1% of consumers have customer service expectations which are currently being met.
"These energy giants have an almost monopolistic share of the market and have therefore allowed a laissez faire approach to their customers to become standard. What these surveys reveal is that the newcomers to the market – the smaller, upwardly mobile, energy companies – are the ones who 'get it'. They understand the importance of quality customer service and of getting that service right every time."
The CEI survey reveals that 86% of consumers would be willing to pay more for better customer service, and the market is slowly catching up to this point of view. "This puts big energy firms in a dangerous position, with their retention of existing customers and acquisition of new customers under threat," warns Mr Clark.
"Unless the industry's leaders can get a handle on this situation very quickly, they will see their bottom lines sliding away from them. He points out that the additional advantage of getting to grips with customer service is that energy firms who adopt a pro-active approach will gain access to valuable customer feedback across the entire organisation.
"This customer insight will enable the business to understand its customers' needs and frustrations, and will also allow them to identify and rectify the root cause of any recurring problems very quickly," he says. "This approach will be essential for any company that wants to improve its customer satisfaction ranking, attract new business, and retain its existing customers."