A recently published study has shown that despite the widespread public support for environmental causes, energy customers still care first and foremost about the financial bottom line when comparing tariffs.
Concerns over sustainable energy are on the rise, however the majority of people will still cite price as the main factor they consider when switching energy provider. This isn’t to say sustainability isn’t taken into account at all, as a recent study carried out by Echo Managed Services found out. According to the survey, just over 1 in 10 people would consider changing energy provider in light of a company’s sustainability credentials, even if that meant a small increase in price. Further to this, 16% of people said that they would consider changing provider if their company was found to be involved in a scandal.
The study also found that one third of consumers said that if they did not receive a satisfactory level of customer service they would switch companies. Customers have come to expect increasing levels of service and with bodies such as Ofgem providing comparisons on customer satisfaction levels it is easy to see which companies will be offering a more hassle free service.
With the increasing exposure the energy market is getting it is unsurprising that more people are seeking expert opinion. In fact the study by Echo Managed Services showed that one fifth of people would change their current energy provider if they were advised to do so by reputable source.
Monica Mackintosh, Customer Services Director at Echo Managed Services, had this to say about the study: “Businesses – whether they operate in a competitive or monopoly market – need to be more conscious about how they are perceived by customers and rather than engaging in a race to the bottom pricewise should be putting more focus on general business practices.”
This shows that although price is still the prevailing factor people consider when switching energy, but it is by no means the only one. It is becoming increasingly easy for companies to be named and shamed when it comes to business ethics or levels of customer service, people respond to this and want to distance themselves from organizations they deem to have bad practices. This is definitely a good thing for the consumer, with scrutiny on the industry from governing bodies such as Ofgem meaning that you can keep up to date with any scandals or instances of bad customer service. On the other hand there are price comparison sites to make sure you are receiving the best deal, as a result of this you should always have enough information to make an informed choice.