We use internal and external measurements to understand how our customers feel about us. These include:
CCW (formally known as the Consumer Council for Water) annually assesses how well water companies are performing in a number of areas that matter the most to customers, including trust. Over the years we have had a strong track record in this area and have been names Most Trusted Water Company seven times.
In the most recent Water Matters report, our trust score in our Northumbrian region is above average. In our Essex and Suffolk region it has improved again but is just below industry average.
CCW has now introduced this new assessment to highlight how water companies are performing in a simple table. Every area of performance, including trust, has been graded and companies have been ranked to show overall performance. In our Northumbrian region we were first of the 11 companies featured and our Essex and Suffolk regions we were eighth. We will look at the information used in this assessment so we can better understand the scoring and see where the differences are between the two areas.
We refer to research and assessments that cover all companies, not just those in the water industry, to judge our success at earning our customers’ trust. We continue to be the only water company in the world on the Ethisphere’s Most Ethical Companies list.
This national measure of customer satisfaction gives a unique insight into the quality of customer service in the UK and is based on a six-monthly online survey of consumers. Results from January 2020 place Northumbrian Water in second place and Essex & Suffolk Water sixth in Net Promoter Score, which is used to measure customer trust.
We work hard to give customers and Ofwat confidence in our governance and assurance. Our assurance framework builds upon our company-wide accreditation to: ISO 14001 Environmental Management, ISO 55001 Asset Management, and our sampling and laboratory analysis are accredited to the demanding ISO 17025.
A new bespoke measure, customers’ perception of trust, will be measured in 2020-25.
It is very important to us to work with and share best practice where we can. A lot of problems are better solved together and our Innovation Festival is a great example of how we bring many people, companies, industries together to look at big problems.
As part of this we have launched a new ideas sharing platform ‘Amplify’, opening our innovation floodgates to the whole world.
Amplify is a shared space where anybody from across the globe can come together to help solve big problems, pitch new ideas and innovate together. We post a series of big real life challenges and then open them up to the rest of the world to try to help solve them.
As well as work on these problems, people can suggest ideas, pitch their products, ask questions and interact with other innovators and creators all within the Amplify website.
Each challenge is owned by an expert from the company and they monitor responses, engage with users and pick up and run with the most promising ones.
There is potential financial backing and funding to develop and trial the best ideas and anyone can register and take part in the challenges.
At the launch our Head of Innovation, Angela MacOscar, said: "We believe wholeheartedly in open innovation. We love new ideas that will make a difference to our customers' lives and when we find them, we will back them completely.
“That's why we're so excited about Amplify. The newest tool that will allow us to connect with every innovator and creative mind from across the world and to work together to solve BIG problems.
“Over the years we've heard from lots of SMEs and inventors who say they struggle to get their ideas off the ground or in front of big companies like ours. This is the perfect opportunity.”