Bristol Water most trusted and ‘best’ at customer service

Bristol Water has been named the best water company for customer service for the second time in a row, according to new research.

The Institute of Customer Service has released its latest Customer Satisfaction Index which also shows that the 172-year-old company is the most trusted in the utility sector, among the likes of big names such as EDF energy, British Gas and npower. It has also been named among the top three of all utility companies for customer service.

The survey, which is undertaken twice a year to provide an insight into the state of customer satisfaction across the UK, asked 10,000 consumers their views on a range of companies involved with banks, cars, retail, tourism and transport. In the utilities sector, 6,000 people were asked their views on areas covering staff professionalism, quality and efficiency, ease of doing business, timeliness, problem solving, complaint handling and attitudes towards trust and reputation.

Out of a score of 100 for overall customer satisfaction, Bristol Water achieved 79.6 – just 0.1 behind M&S Energy and 2.4 behind the top utility company, Bristol-based Ovo Energy.

Mel Karam, Bristol Water’s Chief Executive, said: “This is a fantastic result and testament to our teams which work tirelessly to ensure we provide the best possible customer service.

“I’m immensely proud to lead a team of dedicated colleagues who place the needs of our customers at the forefront of their work, and I’m thrilled this has been highlighted by the Institute of Customer Service and, more importantly, recognised by our customers.

“We know we don’t get it right 100 per cent of the time, which is why we haven’t hit the top spot for utilities. But we’re determined to get there, which is why, as part of our business plan, we’re setting out a target of being the top performing utility company. We are constantly learning from areas where we aren’t the best and ensuring we get better and better each time.”

One of the areas highlighted for improvement includes the amount of effort customers need to put in to get issues resolved, and this is an area currently under the spotlight at Bristol Water.

Ben Newby, Customer Services Director, said: “What is really great news about these results is that Bristol Water is bucking the trend; our customer satisfaction is increasing while the Institute of Customer Service is reporting an overall fall in customer satisfaction as companies come under increasing pressures.

“We’ve been looking at what our customers need and how easy we make it for them to contact us and resolve their issues. We’re increasing the amount of proactive information customers have at their fingertips, we’re refreshing our website based on what our customers want and, most importantly, we’re putting our customers thoughts and ideas on what they want from us right at the heart of our future plans.”

For more on the survey visit the Institute of Customer Service’s website.