Four-year high in customers looking to switch energy suppliers

31st Mar 2017

The number of customers looking to switch energy suppliers hit a four-year high, analysis by The Institute of Customer Service has revealed.

Using Google Trends data, the Institute discovered that, while a January spike in internet searches for price comparison has remained consistent over the past five years, searches for ‘change energy supplier’ had hit a four-year high.

In addition, the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) found that the utilities sector has the lowest Net Promoter score of all the included industries.

This means that customers are less likely to recommend their energy supplier than their bank, insurance company or supermarket.

One in three consumers say that customer service would prompt them to switch suppliers, while the same number said that the reputation of companies for looking after their customers well prompts decisions on who their new supplier will be.

Jo Causon, chief executive of The Institute of Customer Service, said: “As organisations face up to uncertainties, opportunities and risks in what is an increasingly volatile political and economic environment, it is clear that customer satisfaction is not just an indicator of consumer preferences, but a driver of organisational performance.  

“As customers’ behaviour and preferences continue to evolve, it is becoming more challenging to achieve tangible loyalty and advocacy.  With inflation increasing, organisations can ill afford to pass these costs on to consumers and expect them to absorb price rises.  To retain their loyalty – and secure new revenue through recommendation – it means organisations have to raise their game and offer straightforward, seamless experiences as well as empathetic help and advice.”

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