Half of water customers unaware of extra help

People most in need of help could be missing out on essential extra support from their water company, despite record demand sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic.

That’s according to the latest assessment by CCW, which ranks water companies according to their performance on a range of important measures, including customer satisfaction, service failures and complaints handling.

Just 43% of customers in England and Wales are aware of the extra help their water company offers, which can range from the delivery of bottled water in an emergency to the provision of information in accessible formats like large print or different languages.

The people most likely to be helped by water companies’ assistance schemes are also those who find it more difficult to access them. This includes people in minority ethnic groups, those with language barriers, the digitally excluded, disabled people and those with lower-level literacy skills.

Tomasz Dyl, Managing Director of GottaBe! Marketing, recently addressed the water industry at CCW’s Committee meetings on the importance of better engagement with minority ethnic communities. He comments:

“People from a BAME background are twice as likely to live in poverty than their white counterparts. Therefore it is vital that they are made aware of support and advice available to them.”

Emma Clancy, Chief Executive of CCW, comments:

“We’re seeing positive commitments and action across the industry, with people continuing to struggle both financially and emotionally in the wake of the pandemic, it’s so important for our industry to continue its efforts to make customers aware of what help is available to them.”

Making communications inclusive to all and stepping up engagement with minority groups are just two ways in which the water industry can make sure help is getting through to those most in need. CCW is pleased to be collaborating with water companies on a number of pilot schemes to make improvements in this area.

This includes simplifying the application process people go through to register for support, and exploring ways to improve engagement with marginalised communities. Meanwhile, CCW continues to bring organisations together to create services and practices that are accessible to, and usable by, everyone.

For more information on how each water company measures up to the rest of the industry on a range of important measures, take a look at our Water Mark assessment.

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