We provide excellent services and impress our customers
We put our customers at the heart of everything we do. We aim to deliver an unrivalled customer experience to each and every one of our customers. 

We measure our performance in three ways:

OFWAT’S SERVICE INCENTIVE MECHANISM (SIM)

SIM was designed by our regulator Ofwat as a way to measure customers’ experiences of dealing with water companies. It gives a good indication of how well we are serving those customers who have had a reason to contact us.


Ofwat is moving away from using this approach and for the next reporting period is introducing a new measure called C-MeX, which stands for Customer Measure of Experience. This change is aimed at gathering a broader understanding of all customers’ perception of us – not just those who have contacted us.


2019/20 was used as a ‘shadow year’ as we move to the new measurement. This change in reporting has affected our calculated score this year for SIM and does not provide a like-for-like comparison against previous years.


You can read more about why we don’t think this is truly reflective of our performance in our full report.

 

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INDEPENDENT OVERALL CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SCORE

Our target was 8.2 and we exceeded this in 2019, recording a customer satisfaction score of 8.6.


There was a very slight dip in customer satisfaction between 2018 and 2019.

 

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DOMESTIC CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SCORE (NET PROMOTER SCORE)

Our target was +32, and we exceeded this, achieving +40 in 2019.


This was a slight decline on our performance in 2018 of +43. This can be attributed to a number of service issues and an extremely challenging backdrop.


Many customers cited that they have lost trust in large businesses, are feeling particularly hard pressed due to rising prices and have been influenced by negative media coverage in the run up to the election.

 

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CUSTOMER MEASURE OF EXPERIENCE (C-MEX)

Our ambition is to be in the top two water companies for C-MeX across the reporting period 2020-25. For the shadow year, we ranked 5th out of 17 water companies overall.


All water companies are required to report on this new measure that was introduced by our regulator Ofwat in 2019/20 during a ‘shadow year’.


C-MeX is designed to provide customers with excellent levels of service. It improves the way we measure the views of customers who have been in touch, as well as those who have not had reason to contact us but still have important opinions. C-MeX will replace this previous measure.


Because this was a shadow year, there was no financial reward or penalty attached to performance.

DEVELOPER SERVICES MEASURE OF EXPERIENCE (D-MEX)

Our ambition is to be in the top two for D-MeX across the reporting period 2020-25. For the shadow year, we were very proud to be ranked 1st out of 17 water companies overall.

 

This is a new measure that all water companies will use during 2020-25 and was introduced in 2019/20 during a ‘shadow year’.

 

It is designed to improve the experience we provide to customers who are connecting to our services for the first time. We call these developer service customers. This includes property developers, self-lay providers and limited companies who provide water and/or sewerage services in an area which was previously provided by a water company, known as new appointments and variations (NAVs).

 

Because this was a shadow year, there was no financial reward or penalty attached to performance.

Our Plan 2020-25:
Our customers tell us we provide excellent customer service and resolve issues.

 

The two new measures for 2020-25 that were introduced this year will continue:

  • Customer measure of experience (C-Mex)
  • Developer measure of experience (D-Mex)


Additional measures that will be introduced will cover:

  • Priority services for customers in vulnerable circumstances
  • Satisfaction of customers who receive additional non-financial support
  • Awareness of additional non-financial support
  • Response time to written complaints
  • British Standards Institution Award for Inclusive Services
  • Visible leak repair time
Case Study - Customer Care and Billing system
Major investment in technology and new platforms to manage customer services has brought many positive changes for our customers and employees.


From a new Customer Care and Billing system to various apps, we’ve been busy moving from disparate systems of the past to a suite of future-proofed and integrated systems.


These give us a clear view of all customer engagements in one system, meaning all our customer services team have immediate access to the most up-to-date information.


As with any ‘once in a generation’ transformation programme, we experienced some immediate short term challenges. An investment in training and resources now means things are running smoothly – providing new insights and bringing about improvements.

 

Direct benefits for our customers include:

  • Options to pay by direct debit on any day of the month with more flexible payment arrangements
  • Improved call routing so customers can speak to the right person first time
  • A consistent customer experience regardless of communication
  • Reduced time from meters being read to customers receiving a bill. Our target was five days, now it is one day
  • Personalised customer experience, thanks to telephone number recognition. This also increases the likelihood of our teams being able to find a solution the first time a customer gets in touch.


Investment in our web capability means we can change and add content more quickly and easily, and can act on customer feedback in real time. Customers are now able to complete transactions digitally from beginning to end for the first time.


Our mobile-first, highly intuitive customer experience on mobile and desktop devices is designed to truly transform our digital capability, so we can deliver brilliantly through this increasingly popular channel.