The lady on the phone was very helpful and informative also my little girl was having a loud 5 mins at time of call and she was very patient with me and even offered to call me back when I got her sorted brill customer service thank u! Customer feedback, from our Rant & Rave initiative

We believe customers deserve great service whenever they need to get in touch with us, and whatever the issue happens to be.

Customer satisfaction is one of our primary business drivers. It is constantly measured and analysed, with latest performance figures shared across the company every month.

Historically, we have not been among the top tier of water companies when it comes to customer satisfaction scores, but we are on an upward trajectory, thanks to a renewed focus on our customers, and a determination to provide a service comparable with any top high street brand.

In the past four years, we have moved from 21st (bottom) place to 7th in the Ofwat league table for the qualitative customer satisfaction survey – and still have much more to do.

Recent initiatives and progress include:

Rant & Rave: in 2013 we introduced a new customer feedback tool called Rant & Rave. Customers who have recently contacted us by phone receive a text message the next day, asking them how satisfied they are with their experience. The customer feedback is collated, analysed and shared widely with colleagues.

The approach provides us invaluable, real-time insights into our performance, both company-wide, and on an employee by employee basis.

We display latest scores in the form of a ‘Raveometer’ on our plasma screens and individual teams have their own feedback dashboards.

Customers expressing dissatisfaction are responded to immediately, and we continually analyse the feedback, to help us improve our quality of service.

Monthly surveys: we conduct around 600 customer surveys each month, to gauge how well we are performing. We ask customers to score us between 1 (very dissatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied). We also use these surveys to measure more specific issues, such as speed of resolution, knowledge and helpfulness of staff and ease of getting through to our call centre. For analysis purposes, we can also categorise this data according to service area (e.g. billing, water, wastewater etc.).

Our water regulator, Ofwat, also conducts its own quarterly surveys, under a scheme known as SIM (Service Incentive Mechanism). Water companies are rewarded, or penalised, according to their annual SIM scores.

Our overall satisfaction scores for the Ofwat qualitative customer satisfaction survey over the past four years demonstrate steady progress. Although we missed our 2013/14 target, we set the bar deliberately high, and are encouraged by our continuing progress.

SIM performance

Overall customer satisfaction: how we scored out of 5
• In 2010/11: 3.79
• In 2011/12: 4.18
• In 2012/13: 4.43
• In 2013/14: 4.56 (just below our target of 4.65)

Acting on feedback: we have a well-established governance framework which ensures that our monthly customer scores are shared throughout the business, analysed, interpreted and acted upon.

Key elements of this framework include a monthly customer experience board, chaired by our Head of Customer Experience; steering groups across the company and monthly forums attended by customer experience and operational managers.

Service innovation: we are constantly seeking to improve the experience customers have when they get in touch with us, or when we need to reach out to them. See our companion section, Improving the customer experience for more details.

If you would like to send us a comment about this report, please email our Head of Sustainability, Chris Matthews