Improvement in utility supplier customer service levels

A report by Ofgem has suggested that energy suppliers are now making steady improvements to their customer service processes, but still have a long way to go.

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The report has found that customers’ satisfaction levels with the main energy companies’ complaints handling process is improving with two out of five customers saying that they were satisfied with the way their complaint was handled (compared to just one out of four customers in 2010).

Scottish Power and SSE were once again found to be the best for overall customer satisfaction rates and are the only suppliers whose satisfied customers outnumber their dissatisfied customers.

Although there was an improvement since 2010, EDF Energy was found to have the largest proportion of customers dissatisfied with the complaints process – 51% said they were either quite dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.

“These findings mirror those of Consumer Focus which published its latest quarterly league table of energy complaints in March,” the report said.

Despite the improvements, there were a number of areas that were found to still cause frustration amongst energy customers.

These included the speed of dealing with a customer complaint and a lack of contact details should customers want to discuss the complaint further.

The report found a decrease in the number of times a customer needs to call their supplier to get a complaint resolved, but only one in six are resolved in the first call.

“The research has identified a number of priority areas where suppliers can focus their efforts for improving customer satisfaction in future,” the report stated.

“Calling a customer if promised or agreed, taking a proactive approach to resolving the complaint, and the ability to make decisions there and then will ultimately improve overall customer satisfaction with the complaints handling process.”