Under pressure: The gap between performance and perceptions

Our latest report looks at whether water company performance in relation to service delivery drives customer satisfaction. We also explore what most influences satisfaction with services.

We used data from our Water Matters customer research and performance information that we collect from water companies.

We found that:

  • The correlation between customer satisfaction and actual service performance is at best weak, or not in evidence.
  • Water pressure is the most important influence on satisfaction with water services compared to taste/smell, colour/appearance, safety, reliability and hardness/softness.  As the industry takes positive steps to significantly reduce leakage over the next investment period, companies should ensure that water pressure is not compromised.
  • Satisfaction with sewerage services is largely linked with attitudinal factors such as Net Promotor Score/likelihood to recommend and value for money, rather than aspects of the service itself.

The gap between customer satisfaction and service levels means that companies need to focus on their customers by providing an excellent service, as well as communicating effectively to help drive up perceptions.  Both areas are of equal importance and each will help to drive the other in an upwards direction.