Australian Energy Providers Call Centre Rankings December 2023

As well as the Call Centre Ranking results below, ACXPA Members also have access to a range of additional insights, including all the monthly reports, trend data, additional performance metrics, a downloadable spreadsheet and lots more!

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Australian Energy Providers December 2023 Call Centre Rankings

The Australian Energy Providers December 2023 Call Centre Rankings report is the fifth consecutive month of assessing the Energy sector that we commenced in August 2023, where we conduct mystery shopping calls to six different Energy Providers across Australia.

You can read more about the assessment criteria and methodology here, but in short, we make random mystery shopping calls posing as real customers and assess both accessibility (how easy it was to connect) and the customer service/quality of the interaction when speaking to a live agent across 48 different performance metrics.

Just scroll below for additional insights or use the links below to jump directly to a section.

Call Centre Rankings Key:

POOR

BELOW STANDARD

MEETS STANDARDS

EXCEEDS STANDARD

OUTSTANDING

Energy Providers Overall Rankings (December 2023)

The Overall Score Rankings provide insights into the Contact Centres we assessed as being the best in their sector.

Each of the mystery shopping calls we make is assessed against 48 different criteria and the calls are made by our local (Australian-based) trained assessors at random times and days throughout the month.

The Overall Score is determined by combining the two primary component scores below and applying some proprietary weightings that place a higher emphasis on the quality of the interaction:

  • Accessibility Score – measures the experience of connecting to a live contact centre agent.
  • Quality Score – measures the experience of the interaction with a contact centre agent.

Key Findings – Overall Scores, Energy Providers (December 2023)

Following on from the August, September, October and November results, overall, the Energy Providers were assessed as ‘Below Standards’ as assessed against the Australian Contact Centre Quality Standards.

  • The average overall score for the energy sector in December 2023 was 56.2%, down 7.1% from the November 2023 results, the second lowest score since we commenced in August 2023.
  • Energy Australia was rated the best energy provider in December 2023 with a score of 80.4%, the highest score that has ever been achieved by an energy provider since we commenced in August 2023.
  • The overall lowest score for December 2023 was AGL, the third time they have been ranked the lowest of the five months we have been publishing data.
  • Accessibility (how easy to get through to a live person) across the sector was rated as ‘Met Standards’ with a score of 62.9% (down from 68.6% in November 2023) ranging from 27.4% (AGL) to 85.8% (Simply Energy).
  • Average wait times across all Energy Providers increased slightly from November 2023 results (+00:04 minutes) with an average wait time of 01:21 minutes in December 2023 when trying to connect to a live agent (after selecting a menu option and listening to any recorded messages).
  • Energy Australia had the lowest average wait times for the month of December (00:02 minutes), while customers trying to connect to AGL waited the longest on average, 03:42 minutes.
  • The Quality of customer service (when talking to a live person) decreased from November 2023 results (-7.7%) to the lowest-ever score of 53.3%, with three energy providers all rated as ‘Poor’ assessed against the Australian Contact Centre Quality Standards.
  • The top-ranked Energy Provider for Quality in December 2023 was Energy Australia (82.5%).
  • Of the five different Quality Competencies we assess using the Australian Contact Centre Quality Standards, the ‘Discover’ behaviour was the lowest ranked (44.4%) with energy providers spending little time to check if the customer is firstly informed, educated and comfortable before trying to make a sale.
  • All Energy Providers in December 2023 answered 100% of the calls we made within 10 minutes.
  • The IVR Design (press 1 for this, 2 for that) was rated poor in 50% of the Energy Providers we assessed, with all providers having a minimum of two IVR layers, adding, on average, an additional 00:26 minutes to every call.
  • Pre and Post IVR Messaging (i.e. recorded announcements customers are forced to listen to) added an additional 00:57 minutes to each call, with AGL having the longest at 01:52 minutes (slightly down from their November 2023 results at 02:03 minutes).
  • Talk time across all energy providers averaged 07:37 (+00:17 minutes from November 2023) ranging from 05:15 minutes to 07:37 minutes.
Overall Scores Dec 2023
Energy Sector
1st:Energy Australia80.4%
2nd:Simply Energy75.0%
3rd:Red Energy59.6%
Lowest:AGL32.4%
Energy Sector Average56.2%

Energy Providers Accessibility Rankings (December 2023)

The Call Centre Accessibility Rankings are designed to assess the ease of the phone experience for customers who want to speak to a live person to discuss their energy requirements.

The Accessibility Score measures the experience before interacting with a live agent with our assessment including 30 individual elements grouped into five core components: Search, Design, Ease, Audio and Timing (along with deductions for calls not being answered within thresholds, technical glitches, etc).

Elements including queue wait times, how easy it was to find the phone number, ease of menu options (i.e. press 1 for this, 2 for that), hold music, audio quality, etc. 

Key Findings – Accessibility Scores, Energy Providers (December 2023)

Overall, the Accessibility of Energy Providers was rated as ‘Meets Standards’ with a score of 62.9%, a decrease of 5.7% from the November 2023 results and the third consecutive month of decreased performance.

  • In December 2023, four energy providers were rated as ‘Exceeds Standards’, with the overall sector score dragged down by two providers being rated as ‘Poor’.
  • The most accessible Energy Provider in December 2023 was Simply Energy (85.8%), well ahead of the lowest-ranked provider at 27.4% (AGL) who have continued to have the lowest score since we began the reports in August 2023.
  • For the second consecutive month, all Energy Providers answered 100% of the mystery shopping calls we made within 10 minutes.
  • The average wait time to connect to an energy provider in December 2023 was 01:21 minutes, an increase 00:04 minutes when compared to the November 2023 results, a long way from the sector’s best result in October 2023 when the average wait time was just 00:31 minutes.
  • IVR Design was rated ‘Poor’ for 50% of the energy providers we assessed, adding frustration to the customer experience.
  • On average, it took customers 00:26 minutes to navigate the IVR menu, the longest taking 00:45 minutes (AGL).
  • Energy Providers also continue to force customers to listen to lengthy pre-recorded messages adding 00:57 minutes to every call with the longest 01:52 minutes (AGL).
  • Talk time across all Energy Providers averaged 07:37 minutes, a slight increase from the previous month (07:20 minutes).
Accessibility Scores Dec 023
Energy Sector
1st:Simply Energy85.8%
2nd:Red Energy80.6%
3rd:Origin Energy79.8%
Lowest:AGL27.4%
Energy Sector Average62.9%

Energy Providers Quality Rankings (December 2023)

Whilst average wait times vary between Energy Providers, its what happens on the call that can have a large influence on the satisfaction of the customer. 

And whilst there appears to be a push by many organisations to try and move people away from the phone channel, a number of recent studies have shown that over 70% of consumers surveyed said that speaking to a real person instead of a chatbot is highly important so when it comes to trying to secure new business, providing customers with a seamless experience on their preferred channel should be high on the priority list!

The Quality Insights Score (QIS)  measures the experience received during the interaction with the live contact centre agent across five core competencies (Engage, Discover, Educate, Close and Energy) and 18 individual behaviours as defined in the Australian Contact Centre Quality Standards.

Key Findings – Quality Scores, Energy Providers (December 2023)

When assessed against the Australian Contact Centre Quality Standards, the Quality of customer service for the Energy Sector was assessed as ‘Below Standard’ with a score of 53.3%, the lowest result since we commenced reporting in August 2023.

  • The top-ranked energy provider for Quality in December 2023 was Energy Australia, with a score of 82.5% with AGL the lowest on 34.6%.
  • Four of the six energy providers we assessed decreased performance December as compared to their November 2023 results.
  • The most improved from the previous month was Simply Energy, with an increase of 19.7% (50.7% to 70.4%).
  • The largest decrease from the previous month was Red Energy, with a decrease of 21.8% (72.4% down to 50.6%).
  • The Australian Contact Centre Quality Standards contains five different competencies we assess and for energy providers in the month of December 2023, the ‘Discover’ competency was rated the lowest with a score of 44% ranging from 0% (AGL) to 66.7% (Energy Australia and Simply Energy). The result is primarily driven by a lack of conversational skills to identify key buying triggers.
  • The ‘Engage’ competency is also rated as ‘Below Standard’ with most energy providers failing to build engagement with customers and also failing to obtain, and use the customer’s name appropriately.
  • We provide training courses to help Energy Providers improve their results and with courses for both frontline employees and Team Leaders.

You can see additional information on the quality competency scores below (or just click here to jump to it).

Quality Scores Dec 2023
Energy Sector
1st:Energy Australia82.5%
2nd:Simply Energy70.4%
3rd:Red Energy50.6%
Lowest:AGL34.6%
Energy Sector Average53.3%

Energy Providers Average Wait Time Rankings (December 2023)

The Average Call Centre Wait Time measures the time to connect to a live call centre employee in Australia after navigating the IVR systems (press 1 for this, press 2 for that) and listening to any pre-recorded messaging.

Most people would refer to this as waiting in a call centre queue (or being stuck on hold),  and it’s often the measure that has the highest correlation to customer frustration.

*Mystery Shopping calls are terminated at 10:00 minutes for sales-related mystery shopping calls. As we disconnect at 10:00 minutes, the actual wait times would be higher.  In the event of any calls exceeding 10 minutes, the maximum threshold time of 10 minutes is applied to calculate average wait times.

ACXPA Members have access to the number of calls that exceed the 10-minute threshold in the summary download report. 

Key Findings – Average Wait Times, Energy Providers (December 2023)

Average Wait Times for Energy Providers increased slightly by 00:04 minutes from the November 2023 results, with an average wait time in December 2023 to speak to a live person of 01:21 minutes.

  • Energy Australia had the fastest average wait times in December 2023, with an average wait time of just 00:02 minutes, continuing their very quick answering times in November 2023 (00:04 minutes) and October (00:03 minutes).
  • Alinta (+02:37) and AGL (+01:01 minutes) experienced the largest increases from November 2023 results.
  • Origin Energy had the largest decrease from November 2023 results (-01:18 minutes).
  • The longest average wait time in December was 03:42 minutes (AGL), the third consecutive month they have had the longest wait times of all energy providers we assessed.
Average Wait Times Dec 2023
Energy Sector
1st:Energy Australia00:02
2nd:Simply Energy00:04
3rd:Red Energy00:15
Longest:AGL03:42
Energy Sector Average01:21

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Energy Providers Quality Competencies Summary (December 2023)

The Australian Contact Centre Quality Standards have been developed and refined over 30 years and when businesses consistently achieve high ratings in these core competencies, there is a direct correlation to improved business metrics however you measure them – Sales Conversions, NPS, Customer Effort Score, improved efficiency, reduced AHT etc.

They are applicable to all contact centres and are adapted to suit either customer service or sales calls.

Quality is assessed across five core competencies and 18 call-handling behaviours that directly correlate to better customer and business outcomes: Engage, Discover, Educate, Close, Energy.

Learn more about the Australian Contact Centre Quality Standards >

Quality - Engage Competency
Energy Sector Dec 2023
Highest:Energy Australia100%
Lowest:AGL & Origin33.3%
Energy Sector AVE51.4%

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Quality - Discover Competency
Energy Sector Dec 2023
Highest:Simply Energy & Energy Australia66.7%
Lowest:AGL0%
Energy Sector AVE44.4%

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Quality - Educate Competency
Energy Sector Dec 2023
Highest:Energy Australia83.3%
Lowest:Alinta & Origin41.7%
Energy Sector AVE61.1%

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Quality - Close Competency
Energy Sector Dec 2023
Highest:AGL100%
Lowest:Alinta & Red Energy33.3%
Energy Sector AVE63.0%

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Quality - Energy Competency
Energy Sector Dec 2023
Highest:Energy Australia & Simply Energy75.0%
Lowest:Origin Energy33.3%
Energy Sector AVE55.6%

Purchase more insights >

Download the ACXPA Members Summary Report (Energy Sector December 2023)

The ACXPA Members Summary Report for Energy Providers December 2023 contains additional data exclusive for ACXPA Members, including the results for three random Energy Providers each month.

Companies who purchase the Contact Centre CX Benchmarking service will see the FULL data for ALL Energy Providers we assess.

You need an ACXPA Membership to see this exclusive data!

ACXPA Members gain instant access to additional Energy sector data, including the detailed data for three random Energy Providers each month, year-to-date data, and a range of additional ACXPA Membership benefits to ensure you have the leading insights, best-practice tips and more to help you succeed.

Purchase our Contact Centre CX Benchmarking service and you’ll see all Energy Providers data (minimum of five other Energy Providers), receive the call recordings for your council and get tips to help you improve your performance. Learn more >

Energy Providers Call Centre Rankings Redacted December 2023

Additional member-only insights – join now and you’ll  instantly see data for three Energy Providers, including: 

  • Calls Answered Percentage
  • IVR Navigation Time & Layers
  • Average Talk Times
  • Quality scores by each of the five different competencies
  • The scores for the four behaviours of the ‘Engage’ Quality Competency
  • Accessibility scores by each of the five different competencies
  • Access to all previous month’s data
  • Monthly Trend Results

ACXPA Memberships start from just $197 per year and are packed with value!

You’ll gain access to leading industry insights every month, live symposiums and workshops with leading contact centre experts, a library of expert videos on contact centres and CX best practices you can watch on demand, a range of downloadable resources, discounts to expert training courses, networking events and lots more.

 , thanks for being an ACXPA Member – view or download the report below!  

Energy Providers December 2023 ACXPA Members Summary

What type of scenarios do we use to conduct the Mystery Shopping calls?

The scenarios we use are typically based on new sales opportunities.

How does the scoring work?

You can learn more about the framework we use here >

How many calls are assessed?

For the public monthly report, we include at least three calls per council – as more Energy Providers sign up for the service, more calls will be included.

When you sign up for the CX Contact Centre Benchmarking service, you will receive at least six calls for every Energy Provider included in the report.  If you’d rather have a larger sample size, please refer to our customised Benchmarking service >

Why aren’t all the Energy Providers included?

We’d love to have all the Energy Providers included; however, conducting independent Mystery Shopping is expensive!

We randomly chose Energy Providers to commence our program with, and as (or if) other Energy Providers sign up to our CX Contact Centre Benchmarking program, we’ll be able to publish a larger sample size each month.

How can we improve our score?

Our Mystery Shopping program has been designed to provide Energy Providers with the insights they need to improve performance!

You’ll receive detailed information on your performance against over 48 individual elements, so you know exactly where to focus, and we also include a quarterly report that provides you with personalised key recommendations on areas to focus on.

We also offer a range of training courses that can help teach your frontline employees the skills they need to deliver great customer service or improve sales:

How do I get my contact centre included?

We have a fixed-price service starting from $1,297 per month that will provide you with information on your contact centre, as well as a benchmark of your performance against a minimum of five other Energy Providers that you can nominate. Learn more >

How do I order the service?

We have an online ordering form that makes it easy to order the service, nominate the Australian Energy Providers you’d like to benchmark against, who you’d like the reports to be sent to etc. View the online order form >

How do I access the full data for the Australian Energy Providers?

ACXPA Business Members get full access to the summary monthly data for Energy Providers (and other sectors) along with a host of other benefits.

An ACXPA Business Membership starts from just $497 per year and includes five individual memberships you can allocate to key employees who could benefit from gaining access to leading industry insights for contact centres, customer experience (CX), digital service, and in-person customer service.

Is there someone I can speak to to learn more? 

Absolutely! If you’d like to speak to someone further about the Benchmarking Service, please get in touch with our General Manager of Quality Insights, Simon Blair – 0407 002 113 or [email protected]

What type of scenarios do we use to conduct the Mystery Shopping calls?

Most of our mystery shopping scenarios involve new sales opportunities where we don’t need to disclose account numbers or personal information.

Why do you hang up at either 10 minutes?

All our Mystery Shopping calls are conducted live by our accredited Mystery Shoppers who are all based in Australia. We cut off the calls at 10 minutes for two key reasons:

  1. Research has shown that these are at the end of typical times customers will wait before they hang up, especially a sales queue when there are alternatives in the marketplace.
  2. It’s expensive! As we use real human beings to conduct the Mystery Shopping call, it’s simply not practical to pay them often for hours (hello Centrelink!) whilst waiting for the call to be answered. So unless we get a very generous sponsor that enables us to wait the full time, we thought this was a reasonable decision.

Do Australian Energy Providers really care about the service they provide?

As a competitive marketplace, it means there are a range of different approaches. As a commoditised product (it’s the same electricity when you switch on the lights no matter who you purchase it from!), price is, of course, an important consideration.

But smart Energy Retailers are also realising that providing a good customer experience can be a competitive advantage.  But sometimes, whether it’s through a lack of resources or skills, or a strategic choice, the Contact Centre experience that is delivered is well below industry standards.

If, for example, Australian Energy Providers choose to under-resource the contact centre, or use offshore call centres, and can pass those savings onto you in the form of cheaper electricity, that may be acceptable to some consumers who are happy to forgo some service to receive cheaper prices.

We don’t get involved in the strategy of each business, we simply report on the data against industry standards.

We do, however, believe that delivering a better customer experience is not only is it good for you as a consumer, but it’s also good for the business as all of the latest CX statistics will confirm.

Why does ACXPA publish results each month?

Our mission is to improve the level of customer experience in Australia so by publishing the results monthly, we’ll continue to ensure that Energy Providers are accountable for the level of customer service they are providing and to enable consumers to make an informed choice.

What type of services does ACXPA offer?

In addition to the Mystery Shopping CX Benchmarking, we offer a range of services and resources for people working in contact centres, customer experience (CX), digital service and in-person customer service/retail.

You can learn more about us here >

Purchase exclusive insights for your Energy Business

If you’d like to gain insights specifically for your contact centre performance, and benchmark your results against other Energy Providers, we’ve got a new, cost-effective, fixed-price benchmarking service that makes it easy!

Starting from just $1,297 per month, by signing up for our Contact Centre CX Benchmarking Service, you’ll receive the following:

  • Six Mystery Shopping calls into your call centre each month at random times and days where you’ll receive the full assessment against 48 metrics, our quality assessor’s notes, the employee’s name (where provided) and the full call recordings.
  • Six Mystery Shopping calls each into five other Energy Providers (a total of 30 calls) that YOU nominate so you can benchmark your performance against other Energy Providers that matter the most to you.
  • Aggregate data from all the other Energy Providers we assess providing you with Energy sector-wide results to further compare your results to.
  • A monthly email with data to track your performance along with the call recordings.
  • A quarterly report containing insights and trends that are easy to understand, along with actionable recommendations to help improve your performance.
  • An optional Quarterly Insights workshop for your team (conducted live via Zoom) that can provide additional insights, coaching and guidance.
  • Access to training to help you improve results.

CX Roundtables - Upcoming Guest

Live and interactive sessions for customer experience professionals in Australia.

Upcoming CX Roundtable Steven Arnold bw

Contact Centre Manager Roundtables - Upcoming Guest

Live and interactive sessions for contact centre professionals in Australia.

Upcoming Contact Centre Roundtable - Scott Wooden

Next Members Symposium Livestream: Tuesday, 21st May, 2024, 13:30 AEST

The Members Symposium sessions are only available to ACXPA Members! 

ACXPA Members can watch the symposium live, and, can watch any of the sessions at any time in their Video Library. 

Discover which membership is right for you >

Preview of upcoming Symposium Sessions:

Nadine Power, ACXPA National Advisory Board Member

IVR Best Practice

Over 90% of contact centres are using an IVR (Press 1 for this, press 2 for that), and we've encountered many contact centres with over four layers of options for customers to select from. In this session, Nadine will be sharing some best practice tips on IVR design for 2024.

Presented by Nadine Power, Chief Product Officer, Datagamz (and ACXPA National Advisory Board Member)

ACXPA National Advisory Board Member Simon Blair

Tips to Boost Engagement on Calls

Of the five quality competencies we assess as part of the Australian Call Centre Rankings, the 'ENGAGE' competency from the Australian Contact Centre Quality Standards has consistently been at the bottom of the rankings throughout 2023 and into 2024.

In this session, Simon will provide some tips that can be shared with agents on how to increase engagement with customers at the start of calls.

Presented by Simon Blair, General Manager Quality Insights, ACXPA

More sessions announced soon! 

(If you're interested in speaking at one of our events, click here to learn more >)

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