The proportion of customers saying utility firms offer the best service across 14 different sectors has jumped from 10% to 13% in the last year.
That’s according to a new survey of 1,025 members of the public conducted by service design consultancy Engine, which has seen utilities rise from twelfth to ninth place in terms of customer satisfaction.
This 3% rise was the biggest positive change observed, narrowly ahead of the leisure industry, which saw a 2.8% increase.
However, 37% of people still voted utilities as among the worst sectors for dealing with complaints, beaten only by public transport and trains at 38%.
Two-thirds of the public say quality of service is the most important factor in choosing a supplier, followed by price, which was favoured by 31% and convenience with only 4% of the vote.
Restaurants (47%) and hotels (46%) are currently seen as the best overall sectors for service.
Joe Heapy, Co-Founder of Engine, said: “Utilities still have a lot of work to do in terms of improving customer satisfaction but they’re heading in the right direction.
“They’ve been better at identifying with people by devising a more coherent, meaningful and joined up customer experience as well as creating new customer-centric roles in which employees are more empowered to use their discretion rather than explicitly trying to boil interactions down to a formulaic procedure.”
He added the three main features customers expect across all the businesses they deal with are honesty, efficiency and reliability.