Australian Energy Providers Call Centre Rankings September 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!

Learn more about our Membership Options >

Energy Providers September 2023 Call Centre Rankings

Following on from our first report published in August 2023, this month, we observed an improvement across the Energy Sector, with overall scores improving from 53.2% to 60.8%.

The increase was largely attributed to improved accessibility (the ease of connecting to a live agent), which improved 7.9% from the previous month, with Average Wait Times across the sector decreasing from 02:15 minutes (August 2023) to 01:32 (September 2023).

You can read more about the assessment criteria and methodology here, but the quick version is we make random calls to Energy Providers and assess both accessibility (how easy it was to connect) and the customer service/quality of the interaction when speaking to a live agent, typically based on new sales opportunities, so a new revenue opportunity for the energy provider.

Key findings from the Energy Providers September 2023 Call Centre Rankings:

  • Trying to get through to an Energy Provider was rated as ‘Below Standard’ (58.1%) however, once connected, the quality of the customer service was rated as ‘Meets Standard’ (62.0%).
  • The lead performer overall in September 2023 was Energy Australia, with an overall rating of 79.2%, with AGL the lowest-ranked score of 38.6%.
  • In comparison to the previous month, Energy Australia had the highest improvement (+31.0%) with Origin Energy the biggest decrease (-22.0%).
  • The Average Wait time across the Energy Sector was 01:32 minutes with Red Energy’s average wait time leading the sector at 00:03 minutes, a significant improvement from their previous month’s result (04:00 minutes).
  • Last month, across the sector, 22.2% of calls were not answered within the 10-minute threshold, resulting in missed opportunities for the Energy Providers. This month, all providers with the exception of Origin Energy (66%) answered all of their calls.
  • The majority of Energy Providers had two layers of IVR menu options, with Alinta Energy the highest with four layers and Red Energy the lowest.  
  • Of the five competencies we assess quality against (using the Australian Contact Centre Quality Standards), ‘Energy’ was the highest rated competency (78.5%) and ‘Engage’ was the lowest (46.5%).

Energy Providers September 2023 Key Results

The summary data for the September 2023 Australian Energy Providers call centre performance is below.

Overall Ranking

Average Score

Energy Providers

0
%

#1 Ranked Call Centre

Energy Australia

0
%

Lowest Ranked Call Centre

AGL

0
%

Quality Score

Average Score

Energy Providers

0
%

Highest Score

Red Energy

0
%

Lowest Score

AGL

0
%

Quality Summary September 2023

The quality of the customer interactions across the Energy sector when assessed against the Australian Contact Centre Quality Standards was rated as ‘Meets Standards’ with a score of 62.0%, down marginally from the previous month (63.9%).

    • The lead performer for quality was Energy Australia (86.4%), the first time an Energy Provider has achieved a rating of ‘Exceeds Standards’ with both AGL (50.8%) and Origin Energy (51.9%) rated the lowest.
    • Key Results across each of the quality metrics:
      • Engage (46.5%) – The lead performer was Energy Australia (91.7%), and the lowest rated was AGL (25.0%).
      • Discover (63.9%) – The lead performer was Energy Australia & Simply Energy (77.8%), and the lowest rated was Origin Energy (50.0%)
      • Educate (67.4%) – The lead performer was Energy Australia & AGL (83.3%), and the lowest rated was Origin Energy (37.5%)
      • Close (59.3%) – The lead performer was Energy Australia & Origin Energy (83.3%), and the lowest rated was Red Energy (33.3%)
      • Energy (78.5%) – The lead performer was Energy Australia & Red Energy (91.7%), and the lowest rated was AGL and Origin Energy (62.5%)

Accessibility Score

Average Score

Energy Providers

0
%

Highest Score

Red Energy

0
%

Lowest Score

AGL

0
%

Accessibility Summary September 2023

  • Accessibility across the sector increased 7.9% from August 2023 (50.2%) to 58.1% however it is still rated as ‘Below Standard’.
  • The most accessible Energy provider for September 2023 was Red Energy (90.8%) whilst AGL (9.9%) was again rated as the lowest.
  • The biggest improvement was Energy Australia (+33.1%) with Origin Energy the largest decline (-14.0%) compared to August 2023.
  • Average Wait times across the sector decreased by 00:43 minutes from August 2023 with the average wait time across all Energy providers an average of 01:32 minutes.
  • Red Energy (00:03 minutes), Simply Energy (00:04 minutes) and Alinta Energy (00:05 minutes) all had minimal wait times with Origin Energy the longest wait times (05:01 minutes).
  • All calls were answered within the 10-minute threshold with the exception of Origin Energy only answering 66% of our calls.
  • Talk times averaged 07:32 minutes across the sector ranging from 06:49 minutes (Simply Energy) to 08:51 (Red Energy).
  • The average IVR Navigation time was 00:54 minutes with Origin the quickest to navigate (00:37 minutes) through to AGL (02:22 minutes).
  • The majority of Energy Providers had two layers of IVR menus for customers to navigate, Alinta had the most with four.

Average Wait Time

Average Wait Time

Energy Providers

0
Minutes

Shortest Wait Time

Red Energy

0
Minutes

Longest Wait Time*

Origin Energy

0
Minutes

*We disconnect calls that go beyond a 10-minute wait time, so the actual wait times may be longer. ACXPA Members can see the percentage of calls not answered/exceeding the threshold in the members-only exclusive data.

Please also note that contact centres often have different queues for different services or functions (i.e. Sales or Service/New or Existing customers) and the experience can be different for each queue.

Exclusive Members-only Insights

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 four random Energy providers each month for you to benchmark against, previous monthly reports and a range of additional ACXPA Membership benefits to ensure you have the leading insights, best-practice tips and more to help you succeed.

Energy Providers Call Centre Rankings Redacted

Additional member-only insights you’ll instantly see include: 

  • 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 Business Memberships start from just $497 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 – you can view and download the report below!  

Australian Energy Providers Call Centre Rankings Summary September 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 >

How to gain 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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