Customers are continuing to get a poor deal from the Big Six energy providers, with smaller companies scoring much greater for the 4th year straight, based on the annual the Which? Energy company satisfaction survey. The customer based survey lambasts the energy companies for poor customer service and horrific call handling experiences through international call centres.
The six biggest firms make up 90 % of the UK energy market and are all ranked towards the end of the table . Small businesses in the market, mostly using local UK businesses to outsource call handling to featured much higher on the list.
Npower yet again registered horrendous customer satistfaction ratings, only a third of their customers were satisfied or happy with their service. It has finished last in the league for a shocking fourth year in a row. Customers moan about long waiting times for telephone calls to be answered and some customer complaints have not been resolved in more than 20 months. The company has become the image of “how not to do customer service”.
For small companies, outsourcing call handling services abroad is not as cost effective. Larger companies can make financial savings using economies of scale to outsource their telephone call centres to the Far East, however they have suffered a huge dissatisfaction in customer experience. Smaller companies have won market share by sticking with UK call centres that offer a much better call handling experience to clients. Whilst outsourcing calls to Asia might save pennies short term, it is costing companies like Npower thousands in lost revenue as customers switch away from their poor service. As a result, UK telephone call handling centres offer a competitive better service and protect profitability far better than their international cheaper alternatives.
Another benefit from maintaining a UK call centre is avoiding the negative power of social media. Companies such as Npower are rightly attacked with people tweeting dissatisfaction at poor service, unanswered complaints, billing delays and more. They outsource their social media management to companies with no power to resolve problems, often providing obviously automated replies or ‘textbook responses’ that only cause further anger and frustration to customers. It is far better to manage social media in-house or use a local UK social media expert agency that builds a rapport with small business clients and gets a feel for working as part of their brand. They can then provide real-time personal replies on Facebook and Twitter, calming the customer and improving their experience of your company,
With so many blogs watching the energy sector, multiple reports of bad customer experience for energy companies means that their SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) agencies have to use negative tactics to prevent negative articles reaching the first page on Google. If negative reports show up when a customer or potential customer searches for a UK energy company or the company name, they are more likely to lose than win business. SEO companies have to manage negative article positions on search engines as well as promote the key word and key phrases that they want to see on the first page of Google. Click here to find out more about the battle to be on the first page of Google.