Management / Utility sector ranked worst for customer service

Utility sector ranked worst for customer service

The UK utilities industry has the worst customer service of any sector, according to a report.

Gas hob

It ranked lowest out of 13 sectors compared in the UK customer satisfaction index (UKCSI), with a score of 71.4 points.

Highest ranked in the research’s findings were both food and non-food arms of the retail sector, followed closely by tourism and banks.

Ovo Energy was the only utility firm to score within the UCKSI’s top 50.

Other industries with low-ranking customer service were telecommunications and media, and public sector services.

Despite the sector’s low ranking, the UKCSI’s comparison of 16 utility companies showed that the sector has made the biggest improvement in customer experience.

Seven of the companies surveyed saw their UKCSI score improve by one point or more, whilst six witnessed a decline in points.

The sector showed an improvement of two points from its score of 69.4 last July.

However, a Citizens Advice report released earlier this year documented a significant rise in complaints for five of the Big Six energy firms compared to the same period in 2014.

Latest Ombudsman figures also showed reduced numbers of complaints from March 2015 as utilities companies put effort into improving their customer service.

EDF Energy show the most improved customer satisfaction for the period, with a score 5.6 points higher than in 2014.

UKCSI’s chief executive Jo Causon suggested that the improvement in customer service satisfaction with utility companies is due to competition, the will to restore trust and reputation and regulatory pressures.

“Strong customer service isn’t just nice to have, it is central to the success of a business and a key competitive advantage,” she said.

“If customer service is not treated as a strategic business concern, there is a risk that customers will turn to competitors in search of better service.”

Photo © Sunshine City (CC BY 2.0). Cropped.

Click here to catch up on our coverage of Customer Focus Live 2015.


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