Australian Energy Providers Call Centre Rankings October 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 October 2023 Call Centre Rankings

This is our third consecutive month of assessing the Energy sector, 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 the quick version is 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 (October 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 (October 2023)

Following on from the August and September results, overall the Energy Providers were assessed as ‘Met Standards’ for the first time, with an overall score of 63.5%.

  • Accessibility across the sector was rated as ‘Met Standards’ with a score of 71.4% however, there was certainly a wide range, from 40.9% (AGL) to 88.9% (Simply Energy).
  • Average wait times across all Energy Providers were exceptional with an average wait time of 00:31 minutes,  a decrease of 66% from the previous month.
  • Alinta Energy had the lowest average wait times for the month of October (00:01 minutes), with Energy Australia (00:03 minutes), Red Energy (00:03 minutes) and Simply Energy (00:05 minutes) all delivering excellent results.
  • Quality continues to be low across the sector (assessed as Below Standard) with a score of 60.1%, the third consecutive monthly decline.
  • Of the five Quality Competencies we assess using the Australian Contact Centre Quality Standards, the ‘Engage’ competency continues to be the lowest performer (44.4%) with ‘Energy’ the highest at 80.6%.
  • The top-ranked Energy Provider for Quality was Simply Energy (70.0%).
  • For the first time since we commenced reporting, all Energy Providers in October 2023 answered 100% of the calls we made.
  • All Energy Providers had a minimum of two IVR layers, adding, on average, an additional 00:34 minutes to every call.
  • Pre and Post IVR Messaging (i.e. recorded announcements) added an additional 00:58 minutes to each call, with AGL having the longest at 02:03 minutes.
  • Talk time averaged 07:04 across all providers ranging from 04:55 minutes to 10:01 minutes.
Overall Scores October 2023
Energy Sector
1st:Simpy Energy75.7%
2nd:Emergy Australia68.3%
3rd:Origin Energy65.5%
Lowest:Alinta Energy48.6%
Energy Sector Average63.5%

Energy Providers Accessibility Rankings (October 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 (October 2023)

Overall the Accessibility of Energy Providers was rated as ‘Meets Standards’ with a score of 71.4%, the best result since we commenced reporting and a significant improvement from the September results (+13.3%).

  • Four Energy Providers were rated as ‘Exceeds Standards’ for Accessibility, one for ‘Below Standard’ and one for ‘Poor’.
  • The most accessible Energy Provider in October 2023 was Simply Energy (70.0%), well ahead of the lowest-ranked provider at 40.9% (AGL).
  • All Energy Providers answered 100% of the mystery shopping calls we made, the first time this has been achieved for the energy sector.
  • The average wait time to connect to an energy provider was just 00:31 minutes (down from 01:32 the previous month), with great results for Alinta, Energy Australia, Red Energy and Simply Energy who all had average wait times of under 00:05 minutes.
  • Whilst wait times were low, Energy Providers add substantial time to each call with pre and post IVR messaging and the time taken to navigate the IVR Messaging. On average, an additional 00:34 minutes was required to navigate the IVR menu and another 00:58 minutes having to listen to recorded messaging.
  • Alinta Energy had the longest IVR menu options to navigate, however AGL’s menu navigation took the longest (01:38 minutes).
  • Talk time across all Energy Providers averaged 07:04 minutes, a slight decrease from the previous month (07:32 minutes)
Accessibility Scores October 2023
Energy Sector
1st:Simpy Energy88.9%
2nd:Red Energy87.5%
3rd:Origin Energy81.0%
Lowest:AGL40.9%
Energy Sector Average71.4%

Energy Providers Quality Rankings (October 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 (October 2023)

When assessed against the Australian Contact Centre Quality Standards, the Energy Sector was assessed as ‘Below Standard’ for Quality with score of 60.1%, down from 62.0% in September 2023 and the lowest result to date.

  • The top-ranked energy provider for Quality in October 2023 was Simply Energy, with a score of 70.0% with Alinta Energy the lowest on 46.0%.
  • The most improved from the previous month was AGL, with an increase of 16.0% (50.8% to 66.8%).
  • The largest decrease from the previous month was Energy Australia, with a decrease of 21.3% (86.4% down to 65.1%).
  • Energy Providers continued to struggle in the ‘Engage’ competency with an average score of 44.4%. The highest score was for ‘Engage’ with 80.6%.
  • Using a customer’s name appropriately is one of the poorest-rated elements of the Engage Competency,  with an average score across all providers of 22.2%, with 50% of the energy providers scoring 0%.
  • Training is available for all Energy Providers to improve their scores (and, more importantly, the customer experience) – we have courses for 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 October 2023
Energy Sector
1st:Simply Energy70.0%
2nd:AGL66.8%
3rd:Energy Australia65.1%
Lowest:Alinta Energy46.0%
Energy Sector Average60.1%

Energy Providers Average Wait Time Rankings (October 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 (October 2023)

Average Wait Times for Energy Providers decreased from September 2023 results (01:32 minutes) to their best-recorded result of 00:31 minutes in October 2023.

  • All but one Energy Provider experienced a decrease in average wait times in October as compared to September data (Simply Energy +00:01 minutes).
  • As a sector, the majority of energy providers were quick to answer the phone – with Alinta (00:01 minutes), Energy Australia & Red Energy (00:03 minutes) and Simply Energy (00:05 minutes) all providing a quick answer time.
  • The longest wait time was still a modest 01:29 minutes (AGL), followed by Origin Energy (01:27 minutes).
  • The biggest decrease compared to September 2023 results was Origin Energy (-03:34 minutes).
Average Wait Times October 2023
Energy Sector
1st:Alinta Energy00:01
2nd:Energy Australia00:03
3rd:Red Energy00:03
Longest:AGL01:29
Energy Sector Average00:31

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Energy Providers Quality Competencies Summary (October 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 October 2023
Highest:Energy Australia75.0%
Lowest:Red Energy25.0%
Energy Sector AVE44.4%

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Quality - Discover Competency
Energy Sector October 2023
Highest:AGL77.8%
Lowest:Alinta, Origin, Energy Aus44.4%
Energy Sector AVE55.6%

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Quality - Educate Competency
Energy Sector October 2023
Highest:Red Energy83.3%
Lowest:Alinta Energy41.7%
Energy Sector AVE62.5%

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Quality - Close Competency
Energy Sector October 2023
Highest:AGL, Origin77.8%
Lowest:Red Energy11.1%
Energy Sector AVE54.6%

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Quality - Energy Competency
Energy Sector October 2023
Highest:AGL91.7%
Lowest:Alinta, Origin, Red75.0%
Energy Sector AVE80.6%

Purchase more insights >

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

The ACXPA Members Summary Report for Energy Providers October 2023 contains additional data exclusive for ACXPA Members, including the results for four 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 October 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 Call Centre Rankings October 2023

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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