Where would we be without electricity? Sure, there was a time when people got by just fine without it, but these days, no less than 99% of the Australian population 14+ (or 19.2 million people) live in a household connected to electricity. Whether they’d be likely to recommend their electricity provider to a friend or colleague, however, is another matter, as the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal.
Asked to rate their likelihood of recommending their electricity provider by choosing a number between 0 and 10, where 0 indicates ‘not at all likely’ and 10 denotes ‘extremely likely’, 16% of Australian electricity customers chose 0. In contrast, just 7% chose 10. The number chosen by the largest proportion (24%) of people was an ambivalent 5. We may need it, but that doesn’t mean we feel particularly passionate about it.
Of course, there are exceptions. If we define ‘quite likely to recommend’ as the combined proportion of customers who nominate 8, 9 or 10 to indicate how likely they’d be to recommend their electricity provider to friends or colleagues, Dodo Power & Gas comes out on top. A relative newcomer to the utilities retail scene, Dodo must be doing something right: 42% of people living in households connected to Dodo say they’d be quite likely to recommend it.
Electricity providers with highest proportion of customers ‘quite willing to recommend’ them
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2014–June 2015 (n=15,696). NB: respondents were asked to choose a number between 0 and 10 to indicate how likely they were to recommend their electricity provider, with 0 = “not at all likely” and 10 being “extremely likely”. Chart shows combined proportions of respondents who chose 8, 9 or 10.
TRUenergy (41%) and Red Energy (39%) are not far behind; after that, the proportions start declining. Alinta Energy (28%) and Lumo Energy (27%) are in distant fourth and fifth spots.
Although it would be logical to assume that customers who are more likely to recommend their electricity provider are also more satisfied with that provider than customers of rival companies, the situation is not as straightforward as that. All five companies in the chart above have a relatively high proportion of satisfied customers, but they are not the only ones. People living in households connected to ActewAGL, AGL and Energy Australia are similarly satisfied, but far less likely to recommend them to others.
Andrew Price, General Manager – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“In this day and age, it’s nearly impossible to conceive of living without electricity. Perhaps for this very reason – that it’s one of those inevitabilities in life – people don’t tend to get too excited about it. In fact, 18% of the population don’t even know which provider their household is connected to.
“What’s more, our data shows that a higher proportion of Australians are ‘not at all likely’ to recommend their provider than those who are ‘extremely likely’. Curiously, this does not necessarily mean they are dissatisfied. For example, only 22% of people living in households connected to ActewAGL fall into the ‘quite willing to recommend’ category, yet the company has a higher customer satisfaction level than Alinta.
“The challenge for energy providers in this rather ambivalent market is to stand out from the pack, so their customers not only know who they are, but are satisfied with them, and willing to recommend them to others. Sure, the product they’re selling doesn’t vary much from their competitors, but they should at least be able to distinguish themselves through their delivery of the product. Switching provider can be a convoluted process, making some people reluctant to do so: which is why the power of a personal recommendation cannot be underestimated.”
Roy Morgan Research
Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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