A drop in the ocean?

A drop in the ocean?

Published on: September 21, 2011
Author: Epticablog
Customer service at the UK’s water companies is improving dramatically, according to new figures released by the Consumer Council for Water. Consumer complaints in 2010-11 fell by 4.5%, part of a trend which has seen a reduction of a third over the last three years. Overall there were 185,140 complaints to companies in England and Wales, compared to 193,824 in the previous 12 months.

While these figures show that overall customer service is getting better in the water industry, it is clear that companies need to continue focusing on this area. Complaints are still above the lowest ever levels and there seems to be a wide gap between individual water companies in the number of complaints they receive, with some even seeing an increase in the number of complaints made against them. And with compensation and rebates costing water companies £12m last year, there is a very clear financial penalty for those that don’t listen to their customers.

Obviously the best way to avoid complaints is to deliver excellent service in the first place, by providing customers with the information needed to answer their questions in a simple, straightforward way. Using tools such as web self-service and email management systems that assist agents to submit the best possible response to questions not only keeps customers happy but also frees up contact centre agent time to deal with more complex problems. So, used well, it will not only reduce complaints in the first place but also allow agents to focus their energies on helping other customers.

Monitoring social media for issues, such as broken pipes, will also help water companies to keep on top of potential sources of complaints and act quickly to solve problems and provide fast information to their customers. With bills rising, now is the time for any water companies who are lagging behind on customer service to use technology to help reduce the potential for complaints and costly compensation moving forward.    

Tags: Consumer Council for Water, contact centre, Customer Service, OFWAT, Social media, utility, Water
Categories: Contact Center, CRM, Customer Service, Email Management, UtilitiesSelf-service

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