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UK Energy Providers Struggling with Customer Service

November 08, 2013

By Nicole Spector,
Contributing Writer

Energy providers may be upping their game in certain areas, like efficiency, emissions, and conversation, but a new report suggests that are certainly still lacking in other important categories.

A study of UK energy consumers by the contact center software provider Aspect (News - Alert) reveals that British users are far from pleased with the customer service they receive from their energy providers. The study surveyed 1,000 UK based consumers over the age of 16.

The research took into account the views and expectations of consumers, particularly looking at how satisfied they were with the service received from 13 different types of organizations, including gas, electric and water suppliers. The research showed staggeringly dismal satisfaction rates. Only 7 percent of UK consumers were able to recount a good customer experience from a utilities provider in the last year. Over a third of consumers, or 37 percent, meanwhile, feel neutral towards these providers.

And we thought it was bad on this side of the Atlantic! 

The research also showed that over a quarter of consumers, or 26 percent of energy users said that an unpleasant customer service experience was enough to prompt them to cancel their account with said supplier. So, it’s clear that these displeased customers aren't just sucking it up. If they're so ready to cancel for bad customer service, then why aren't these suppliers taking appropriate action?

Upon reviewing the dramatically negative feedback found in the survey, Mark King, senior VP, Europe and Africa at Aspect said, “Customer service plays a vital role for utilities providers. As price wars have resulted in supply costs being almost matched across the board, the only differentiator for providers is excellence in customer service."

So, UK energy providers, if you're really looking to lure a user into a contract with you, focus not only on dropping the price, but also on being nice.

Edited by Blaise McNamee