The number of written complaints we receive about our service continued to fall in 2017/18, to its lowest ever level, while customers’ rating of our service has continued to improve.
This includes the Service Incentive Mechanism (SIM), used by Ofwat to compare the customer service offered by water companies. We finished the year with the top spot in Ofwat’s qualitative survey, which is based on ratings from customers who contacted us throughout the year. This is up from sixth place in 2016/17. Together with our quantitative performance, which looks at the number of unwanted customer contacts, we have a SIM score of 88 out of 100. We expect to be the top company for customer service in 2017/18 when the final results are released later in 2018.
Our own internal survey of customer satisfaction gathered opinions from over 100,000 people who contacted us with an account query. More than 89 per cent said they were very satisfied with our service, while those that were unhappy have helped us learn from mistakes and improve what we do.
We also measure our performance through our membership of the Institute of Customer Service. Its annual Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) measures people’s recent experiences of customer service across 13 different business sectors. We achieved some great scores in 2017/18, including our highest ever score of 78.6 in July. Our average score for the year was 77.5, placing us sixth out of the 25 utility companies surveyed in both the July and January surveys.
Customer Service Representative Rebecca Lunnon had a newborn calf named after her by a grateful customer after she helped arrange an emergency water connection for his herd of cows.
Richard Bunning was due to have a water connection installed on his farm at the end of January, but because the work would have involved a road closure, the county council needed three months' notice.
That left Richard delivering water to his 50 cows by pulling a 1,000-litre container on his tractor. The three-mile journey was taking three hours a day.
Rebecca worked with the Scheduling Team to put forward the case for an emergency water connection on animal welfare grounds and permission was granted the following week.