A project by Midlands utility firm Severn Trent Water to reduce complaints has caused a big splash at the 2018 UK Complaint Handling Awards.

The company told judges at the recent event in London about their Customer Journey Improvement initiative, which has led to a dramatic fall in complaints and has reinvigorated the delivery of Customer Experience (CX) for the eight million or so users who rely on Severn Trent’s services.

Judges were told of the importance of quality CX for the firm, as it is regulated by the Consumer Council for Water, meaning they are in direct competition with 17 other water companies.

Severn Trent’s target was to reduce complaints by 20 percent, and by last October they had beat that target with a reduction figure of 34 percent.

A company spokesperson explained:

“This project focused on complaint volume from our retail leg of the company, which include billing, metering and credit management complaints. Another major attention area was to improve our service incentive mechanism (SIM) score – a review completed quarterly by the Water Services Regulation Authority (OFWAT) to measure our customer service via customer engagement. Therefore, direct engagement with our customers and their resultant feedback has formed an integral driver for this project. 

This project has led to a new communicative structure that involves all stakeholders that have an input to the improvement of customer journey. To enable effective engagement and collaboration between stakeholders, we have a monthly customer experience CoP, two complaint loop cells a month, monthly team meetings, and weekly team communication cells and buzz meetings.”

The impressive presentation led to judges awarding Severn Trent the Gold award in the Best Utilities category, in which they were up against Lanes Group, Thames Water, United Utilities, South West Water, and Welsh Water .

United Utilities were awarded the Silver prize in this hotly-contested category.

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