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Customer Experience Management for Water Utilities Sector

6 June 2022

There is mounting pressure for the water utilities sector to address customer experience as a core focus to deliver a more customer centric approach across all touchpoints within the water utility journey following the measures introduced by Ofwat as part of PR19.

Utility providers in general have historically been behind the curve when it comes to embracing customer experience management which has largely been informed by more traditional models and methods of working owing to the monopolies in place which have driven cultures, processes, and legacy technologies.

But today, increasing regulatory and competitive pressures are forcing utility providers to review their customer experience strategy and provide new approaches to succeed in a more connected way just like other companies outside the sector.

OFWAT encourages more customer focussed approaches by water companies

Driven by the recent shifts within the gas and electricity markets, more than ever, savvy consumers are looking for innovative, proactive and value driven approaches from their other utility providers.

And even within the regulated water industry, there are now measures in place brought about by OFWAT’s PR19 price review that positively encourages customer-centric thinking by water companies backed by financial and reputational incentives attributed to performance.

OFWAT PR19 introduces customer and developer services of experience

Providing excellent customer service to maintain trust and confidence in the water sector was one of the key themes at the heart of the PR19 price review by OFWAT which has been in effect from April 1st 2020, and applies to the 17 largest water companies in England and Wales.

As part of PR19, Ofwat introduced the customer measure of experience (C-MeX) and developer services measure of experience (D-MeX). The new framework focusses on incentive mechanisms informed by both financial and reputational performance data in a bid to provide excellent levels of customer service in the water sector.

The C-Mex measures invite feedback about the quality of local water services and allows complaints from outside your locality which can be made by any channel including social media.

This signals the need for water companies to better understand the individual challenges that customers are facing by leveraging data insights to provide new solutions that perform well by investing in a culture of continuous improvement to innovate in the CX space and delight customers across all stages of the customer journey.

Ofwat logo water image-PR19


The implications of D-Mex measures for developer services

In addition to C-Mex, Ofwat also introduced the D-Mex model which is designed to measure the quality of services to developer services customers and measures performance against a set of Water UK developer services level of service metrics.

This extends to all developers, as well as self-lay providers and those with new appointments and variations (NAVs). Extending the measures to include all stakeholders was a welcome move from the self-lay community and one that is already paying dividends when it comes to negotiating timescales and deadlines for water installations and connections outsourced to a third party such as ourselves. It has also provided significant opportunities to upgrade and modernise outdated water infrastructure for customers when discussing self-lay as an option for our developer customers.

Customer experience deeply rooted to our mission at Aquamain

Our mission is to provide class leading excellence in quality, service and customer care ensuring that the Aquamain customer service is rooted in a quality mindset.

We’ve already heavily invested in our systems and technology providing remote access digital technology for our regional managers, site installation crews, field supervision and commissioning teams. We plan and operate our projects using a cloud-based works management system that enables immediate transfer of site direction, instructions, information, and records, including final GPS co-ordinates of all assets. All in real time.

The PR19 measures for us provided a further opportunity to review how we empower everyone across our organisation to facilitate our customers and interact on a personal level to accurately identify and interpret customer need.

We’ve recently launched a 360-degree customer experience satisfaction survey designed to better understand how our regional managers, field staff, site crews and customer service staff are performing in the eyes of the customer along with a request for more input on how we can continue to improve and ensure we are meeting and exceeding customer expectation and experience with every single customer we interact with.

We hope that with the new frameworks in place until 2025 that the water utility industry continues to embrace change and innovates within the CX space so that the water sector is renowned for excellence in customer service and becomes a pioneer within the utilities sector.

Contact Us

Whether you need advice, a quotation, help or you just want to talk with someone about the provision of water assets for your Development, the Aquamain team are here to help you – contact us today.

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