Utility Week

UTILITY Week 29th January 2016

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

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Page 26 of 31

UTILITY WEEK | 29TH JANUARY - 4TH FEBRUARY 2016 | 27 Event 1. Communication Market opening must be communi- cated effectively with consumers through awareness cam- paigns so that there is a demand for it. 2. Engagement Companies must engage not only with customers, but also with their employees, to drive customer service excellence. 3. Information Information can be a company's strongest or weakest asset, depending on how they use it. 4. Innovation Market opening and the introduction of competition into the non-household mar- ket will drive innova- tion in customer service. 5. Collaboration Companies must share more good practice, for example, how best to get free and open opinions from customers. Five key points to take away sponsored by: Tom O'Farrell, commercial director, Aiimi "You need to fall in love with information… If used correctly, it is the differentiator between you and your rivals in the competitive market. If used incorrectly, it can be your weakest link in the chain." "The water industry is a fairly low-engage- ment industry… customers just want to know they've got clean water when they turn the tap on... Should this not happen, the customer is experiencing a service failure. They don't care why, they don't care how this has happened, they ultimately just want it fixed." Dr Phil Klaus, professor of customer experience and marketing strategy "Without the why – the motivation – the what, how and when makes very little sense. But once you combine them, the magic happens, and you all of a sudden can see: 'well if we do this, this is what will happen'." "You talk about big data, despite the fact that data is not big, it's not small, it is just simple data. You have lots of data and very little insight." Sarah Bentley, chief customer officer, Severn Trent Water "I am a customer of loads of services, and actually if I can just Alan Lovell, chairman, Consumer Council for Water "We must ensure that [market reform] works for those who can and choose to switch, whilst rigorously protecting those who can't or choose not to." have an experience that delights me, that puts a smile on my face, that brings some joy into my life, that really is ace. So if I think about anything that we're trying to do with our customers, with technology or not, it's just simply to delight them." thing. One of the great strengths of water companies is their deeply integrated nature."

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