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Independent suppliers top B2B satisfaction survey

Datamonitor have released their latest B2B Energy Buyer Customer Satisfaction research. The 2014 report as ever makes interesting reading for those businesses looking for an energy supplier and for the industry itself.

Once again smaller, independent suppliers have come out on top with Opus Energy taking the SME crown and Smartest Energy triumphing in the MEU (Major Energy Users) category.

It is however beyond those headlines that the most interesting statistics become apparent.

The report tells us that:

  • Satisfaction has dropped across the board amongst SMEs with the average satisfaction score falling from 7.03 in 2013 to 6.86 in H1 2014
  • Similarly for MEUs the satisfaction rating has fallen from 7.41 to 7.14

Echoing this, all but 3 of the Top 8 energy suppliers in the SME market saw their satisfaction rankings fall whilst just 2 of 8 in the MEU market saw a positive rise in scores.

In total just four suppliers Opus Energy (SME), Haven Power (Twice), E.ON (SME) and nPower (MEU) saw a positive return.

The most improved score for SME was Opus Energy rising from 7.33 to 7.67 to take first place; whilst in the MEU market it was nPower who faired best with a moderate rise from 7.10 to 7.30.

In terms of ranking E.ON and SSE saw the largest rises in SME, each climbing by 3 places to 3rd and 4th respectively, whilst in MEU it was again nPower leading the rise, jumping 4 places from 7th to 3rd.

By contrast in the SME market, the biggest losers were:

  • British Gas Business falling 5 places
  • EDF Energy seeing the biggest decrease in satisfaction score of 0.97
  • nPower retaining bottom spot (8th)

In the MEU market, the also rans were:

  • EDF Energy and Scottish Power falling a single place
  • SSE seeing the most pronounced fall in satisfaction score of 0.48 and in doing so remaining at the bottom of the pile (8th)

Overall then we can say, perhaps inevitably, that whilst overall satisfaction fell, the average levels of satisfaction were higher in the MEU market than the SME and also the former saw much smaller variances in position and score than the latter suggesting a more stable, trusted market environment.

The challenge now is to deliver that same level of positive experience to the SME market and to stop the rot in falling satisfaction scores.