As an industry we need to get our house in order

Despite being a national business, we’re fiercely proud to champion Yorkshire values. At CNG, we appreciate a good sense of humour, straight talking and honesty, especially when it comes to the way that we do business. Unfortunately, it seems that this is something that has become somewhat of a rarity in our industry.

Although energy is something that the vast majority of us use every day, it’s true to say that many users still don’t fully understand their supply or pricing.  We believe that energy providers should be held to account for their role in this because although they have the information that their customers want, they often choose not to share it in the best way. The energy sector has gained a (sometimes deserved) reputation for dishonesty, stemming from a lack of transparency from suppliers, leaving users feeling confused and even deceived.

A recent survey by PwC found that half of business energy users don’t think that their supplier’s pricing is transparent enough. As well as a lack of transparency, this may also be fuelled by the fact that little is done to educate consumers about the energy sector; the same survey found that 30 percent of those interviewed did not know or understand the way that they were charged for their gas supply. If you think about it, that’s pretty awful.

At CNG, we believe in having a more honest and open relationship with our consumers and brokers. Providing them with the information they need is important, as it allows us to build positive and trusting relationships. Once customers understand the way that suppliers do business and how they are charged, the relations between the two will improve as they feel valued, empowered and knowledgeable about their energy supply.

We believe it’s important to look after our customers, which is why we strive to be a fairer supplier. Loyalty and good relationships are always important in business, but this seems to be something that has been forgotten in our industry.

Even when consumers are dissatisfied enough to complain, they run the risk of going unheard. An Ofgem report found that 40 percent of energy customers felt that their problems remained unresolved after a complaint had been issued. Again, this is simply unfair. That’s why we’ve taken a different route and put all our energy into a fairer way of working. Our NPS score is well in advance of the industry average, but we feel like energy businesses should be judged against true customer service champions, irrespective of sector. So we always want to do better.

The energy industry needs to rid itself of its negative reputation and become more customer focussed. This begins at the highest level, with suppliers working together to address concerns. Honesty and straight talking is what energy users want, and at CNG, these are values that we prioritise. We believe in putting the customer before profit and providing a high quality service, which is why we consider transparency as being vital for good relationships.