17th May 2016
Legislation on smart energy meters and ‘next-day supplier switching’ is anticipated in this week’s Queen’s Speech leading Jo Causon, CEO of the Institute of Customer Service, to say:
“Customer satisfaction in the utilities sector remains lower than the national average so any move giving customers more choice will drive innovation, keep the industry agile and responsive and ensures suppliers are driven to provide the levels of customer service consumers expect.
“With smart meters soon providing near-real time information on customers’ energy consumption, suppliers should also be empowered to compete beyond the traditional ‘price wars’ to help customers control and manage their energy use, save money with accurate billing, and be more environmentally friendly.
“Yet smart metering is not the only answer. Our latest research shows that the utilities sector scores below the UK average for most measures, particularly those relating to satisfaction with price, trust and complaint handling. It means that smart metering must be complemented with smarter training so that employees in the sector are better able to handle customer queries and needs.
“Staff attitudes and behaviour are among the most significant drivers of customer satisfaction. Developing employees’ customer service skills will be central to achieving sustained improvement in satisfaction in this sector. To be in a strong position to achieve long term competitiveness and business performance, energy suppliers need to take advantage of the changes afforded by forward thinking legislation and innovative technology, matched by an ongoing focus on enhancing customer service skills.”
Notes to editors
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About The Institute of Customer Service
The Institute of Customer Service is the professional body for customer service delivering tangible benefit to organisations and individuals so that our customers can improve their customers’ experience and their own business performance. The Institute is a membership body with a community of over 500 organisational members – from the private, public and third sectors – and over 4,000 individual memberships. For more information about the Institute of Customer Service go to www.instituteofcustomerservice.com