TimeToChange – Improving consumers’ perceptions of value for money and fairness of water bills


Last month we published our Water Matters research (pdf), which revealed that household customers’ views of the value of money and fairness of their water bills have remained disappointingly flat for several years.

Analysis of our Water Matters data, coupled with our local and national contact with water companies, gives us a unique insight into what drives negative perception and – most importantly – what water companies can do to put things right.

From this, we have developed the following top tips that water companies can follow to improve customer satisfaction of value for money and fairness of bills in the sector:

Our 7 top tips for improving customer perceptions:

Finances of the company

  • Top tip #1 – Avoid sudden bill rises or nasty surprises. If increases do happen, tell your customers why.
  • Top tip #2 – Be open about your finances and tell customers how they benefit.

Excellent service

  • Top tip #3 – Make every contact with customers count positively.
  • Top tip #4 – if things go wrong, communicate with customers in a way that works for them.
  • Top tip #5 – Look after all your customers, especially when they need extra help.

Local identity

  • Top tip #6 – Show customers how you are using their money to improve services down their street.
  • Top tip #7 – Build a positive community image.

Read more about our top tips:

Our conclusion:

By taking positive action in three key areas: finance, service and local identity, water companies can boost customer perceptions, both of their organisations and the industry as a whole.

Many companies will already be doing some of these, and others may be addressing these points in different ways.

Later in the year, we’ll be inviting water companies to explore our findings in more detail and share best practice, as part of an open discussion with other water company leaders from across England and Wales. We will share details of this event once they are confirmed.