Utilities’ customer service rated second worst

Utilities have been ranked as the second-worst industry for customer service. This year’s Customer Experience Survey from service design consultancy, Engine, has revealed this is the case for the second year […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Utilities have been ranked as the second-worst industry for customer service.

This year’s Customer Experience Survey from service design consultancy, Engine, has revealed this is the case for the second year in a row.

Around 36% of customers said utilities is one of the worst three sectors for customer service, 5% more than last year. Public transport & train operators were ranked the worst, with 38% of customers saying they are among the worst three offenders.

The survey found customers are increasingly likely to recommend a company based on the quality of service (66%) than they are on price (30%).

When asked what traits they value in how a company deals with its customers, consumers rated honesty most highly (cited as a top three trait by 50% of people), efficiency second (48%) and reliability third (44%).

Oliver King, Co-Founder of Engine, said: “Companies need to become more customer-centric and get ahead of the rising tide of service expectations. Pricing can be copied by competitors but what really wins the day are easy to use services that weave together great functionality, usability to connect emotionally with customers and save them precious time.

“Utility companies have a real opportunity to tap into the importance of honesty and transparency by being open about tariff costs and changes as well as how easy it is to switch away. This builds trust with consumers, meaning they’re more likely to stay, even if it might not be the cheapest option.”

The news comes as the best and worst performing energy suppliers at dealing with customer complaints reaches the widest point on record.