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Faculty of Economics

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Littlechild, S.

An Overall Customer Satisfaction score for GB energy suppliers


Abstract: Although residential energy supply is often assumed to be a homogenous product, there is significant variation in customer service, and most suppliers are unknown to most customers. How best to inform customers about suppliers’ performance and thereby enable customers to engage more effectively in the market? This paper proposes an Overall Customer Satisfaction (OCS) score, defined as the average of four different ratings published by Ofgem, the Consumers’ Association (Which? magazine), Citizens Advice and the consumer review site Trustpilot. There is limited correlation between these four ratings. The index is calculated for over 30 energy suppliers during the period from May 2018 to August 2020. The index increased in early 2019 suggesting that customer satisfaction improved. Medium suppliers score highest, but the Large former incumbent suppliers have markedly improved their OCS ranking over this period, albeit from a relatively low level. Small suppliers have more variable scores. Suppliers scoring less than 60 have not survived. Some Medium suppliers with very high OCS scores have been offering significant savings on their standard variable default tariffs, thereby encouraging customer loyalty rather than using these tariffs to exploit passive customers.

Keywords: customer satisfaction, customer feedback, retail energy market, Trustpilot

JEL Codes: L15 L51 L94

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EPRG Paper Link: 2027

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