Delivering an excellent customer experience to customers and the community

Both South Staffs and Cambridge Water rank in the top third of companies for customer satisfaction according to Ofwat's latest survey.

We recognise, however, that customer service is not just about those working in the call centre, or responding to customers' letters. For us, customer service is about getting it right first time – throughout the organisation. We value our customers and we’ve developed three key values which we expect all our employees to follow when dealing with customers in any situation – being responsive, reliable and respectful.

Our long term plans

We will develop new and innovative ways of keeping customers informed on key issues, making sure that they have the information they need, when they need it.

Customer contact - Most of our customer contact is by telephone, but more and more customers want to contact us via email, text message and manage their accounts online. We need to make the most of new technology in an efficient and effective manner, so we will be developing new customer contact channels via these media.

Keeping customers informed - We will develop new and innovative ways of keeping customers informed on key issues, making sure that they have the information they need, when they need it.

Operational issues - We will maximise the use of new media to inform customers about unexpected operational issues, such as bursts and planned works, such as mains refurbishment. With technology advancing at such a pace, it is difficult to predict how we will service customers too far ahead, but we will continue to respond to technological advances and think ahead to best meet our customers' changing expectations.

Intelligent networks - We will also focus on managing our network more effectively, by developing a 'live and intelligent' network, over the long-term. This involves putting sensors on pipes, so that leaks or bursts can be detected more quickly and we can respond and resolve the issue before supplies, or the highways, are disrupted.

Supporting our communities - Supporting our local communities, as well as fundraising for global charities like WaterAid, is important to us and we will continue to support staff and customers in these areas. We will develop our award winning education programme and continue to develop employee volunteering schemes through which staff support local environment groups and projects. We will also continue to manage our land and recreational sites and open them up to the public for leisure activities where appropriate.

Competition - From 2017 there will be an opportunity for all business customers to change their retail supplier (the company that reads their meter and bills them). We are planning for, and looking forward to, this new opportunity and are well placed for this new marketplace given our low bills and excellent customer service.