Report: energy sector customer satisfaction stable in 2022

Mother and child playing happily together at home (customer satisfaction)
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Energy customer satisfaction remained stable in 2022 according to results from the latest CSBA CX benchmarking program for the sector. This is the third consecutive year of unchanged scores since 2020.

Overall satisfaction for gas customers was 8.4 out of 10, compared to 8.5 in 2021 and 8.4 in 2020. Overall satisfaction for electricity customers was 7.5 compared to 7.5 in 2021 and 7.6 in 2020.

Conducted annually by customer experience insights agency CSBA, the 2022 Customer Experience (CX) benchmarking program for the energy networks sector involved seven companies. And evaluated 13,604 surveys and 237,941 telephone calls over a 12-month period from January to December 2022.

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CX director for utilities at CSBA, Sudipta Dutt, said it was a positive result for the sector, explaining the importance of reading the scores in the context of huge social, economic, and environmental challenges.

“Since the pandemic in 2020, customer expectations have continued to increase alongside contact volume. At the same time, customers have been impacted by rising costs and extreme weather events across the nation,” she said.

“Given the volatility of these external factors, energy companies have done well to maintain their standard of customer satisfaction.” 

Compared to other sectors in the CSBA benchmarking program, the energy sector performed better than the Local Government (6.0 compared to 6.3 in 2021) and Superannuation (7.8 compared to 8.1 in 2021) sectors.

The program, which also measured Ease and Net Promoter Score metrics, evaluated multiple customer touchpoints including unplanned and planned outages; new connections; general enquiries; claims and complaints; and distributed energy resources.

Implications for the Energy sector

Trend #1: Customer Experience is the new battlefield

CX strategies are now central to companies in modern business, with many making CX a board-level priority in 2023, according to various global research, including a 2021 study by Accenture that found 80% of global CEOs believe their company’s customer experience will be the key differentiator in the marketplace. But CX change must be embedded in the culture of an organisation, and consistently measured and tracked across the entire journey—not just at individual touchpoints.

“It is critical that your Voice of Customer (VOC) program covers the full spectrum of your customer base and includes Transactional metrics and Relationship metrics,” said Dutt.

“Above all, you need to recognise that the quality of an improvement process is much more important than any metric.”

Trend #2: Digital adoption and transformation are the new reality

The digital channel is gaining strength. The challenge is to really listen to your customers and honour their communication channel of choice.

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Dutt: “Break down data silos to meet customer demand for a digital, responsive, and trustworthy service. Companies must refocus every part of their business to put the customer at the centre of everything they do.” 

Trend #3: Employee experience has taken centre stage

Employees are central to CX improvements. Cultivating a culture of customer-centricity begins with building employee capabilities across the organisation.

Dutt: “Focus on your employees and equip them with the right tools to drive CX improvement within your organisation.”

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