Customer complaints - Getting it right first time

The latest Citizens Advice energy customer complaints performance report has been published today and we’re delighted that once again we're the best performing of the major energy suppliers.

This report, which covers the period from January to March this year, relates to complaints received by external organisations including Citizens Advice, Consumer Futures and Ombudsman Services.

While every complaint is one too many, we are pleased that our continued commitment to resolving issues quickly, directly with our customers, is working.

SSE received 34.1 complaints per 100,000 customers, around 17 times fewer than the worst performing supplier. We’ve consistently received the fewest amount of complaints since 2010 when it was previously known as the Five Star Rating.

It's an important measure for us as we firmly believe in addressing any issues at the outset, not letting them linger or grow. We don't want our customers to feel they have to go elsewhere to get their SSE query resolved.

Our consistency in our performance is not something that comes by chance. It’s achieved through the hard work of each and every one of our 4000-strong UK based customer service employees committed to delivering the very best standard of customer service. And most importantly – work to get it right first time.

We’ve introduced a number of initiatives to help do just that, including introduction of our Customer Charter and our Customer Service Guarantee which gives money back to customers if we fail on a number of commitments.

However, if for any reason a customer is not entirely happy with the service they have received we want to make sure we put things right and ensure customers don’t need to spend time and effort getting another organisation to help get things resolved.

To do this, we empower all our employees to resolve issues at the very first point of contact and log every single expression of dissatisfaction, no matter how small. Doing this ensures we capture problems at the earliest stage, can work to find a resolution and most importantly, constantly improve our customer service.

I think this commitment by staff to resolving concerns at the outset has played a major role in why we’ve performed the best in this survey from inception alongside being named uSwitch's best for customer service for the past eight.

Customers are at the heart of what we do and we know only too well the importance that excellent service plays in their choice of energy provider.

To find out more about Citizens Advice customer complaints performance report visit:


About the author

Jacqui Maxwell Head of Customer Services

Jacqui Maxwell is Head of Customer Service and has worked in the energy industry for over 30 years. Her key focus is looking after customers and driving down complaints to improve the service customers receive. She is responsible for delivering SSE’s vulnerable customer strategy and also works closely with key external stakeholders including SSE’s regional Customer Forums groups, Ofgem, Consumer Futures and other consumer organisations.

Read more articles by Jacqui Maxwell