Less than one in five British adults believe utilities companies have their best interest at heart; suggesting 35.7 million people are of the opinion gas and energy firms aren’t doing everything they can to support them through the cost-of-living crisis.
The research from the Call Centre Management Association (CCMA) and Odigo, the leading Contact Centre-as-a-Service (CCaaS) provider, also reveals only 14% of adults believe utilities provide a personal service which helps customers feel recognised.
Further, only 20% of Brits saying they offer the right contact channel to suit their preferences.
Between January and March 2022, Citizens Advice reported its consumer service helpline saw more than 70,000 cases related to energy issues – a 63% increase from the same period in 2021.
They further reported that phone wait times to suppliers increased on average by two minutes, and email response times were also getting slower. In an attempt to keep up with the rise of customer interactions, energy companies have embarked on mass-hiring sprees.
Neil Titcomb, Managing Director UKI at Odigo said, “Although this is a positive step, there is so much more that can be done.
“The pandemic saw a steep fall in customer service across every industry and while utility companies are trying to do everything they can during this crisis period, they could go even further by utilising technologies like CCaaS solutions. There is still more work that can be done to improve customer experience.”
However, issues with customer service quality did not start in this energy crisis. In 2021, the same CCMA and Odigo study reported 37% of people felt they had to wait too long to connect to an agent. A further 33% said they had to repeat themselves and give the same information twice or more.
Titcomb added, “With anxieties over personal finances running high, consumers need quick, accurate answers and support to navigate the coming recession. Many are increasingly desperate for the cheapest offers and best customer service, so businesses need to continue to give their customers a reason to stay by providing the best service they can.”
“During these difficult times, utility companies must give their employees the tools and technology to properly succeed and provide customers with the service that is needed. Now more than ever, customers are seeking the support, attention and comfort that only a contact centre can provide through genuine human interactions.”
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