The interview opens with Tim Hughes, Chief Customer Officer at Welsh Water.
Customer Management IQ: Welcome Tim, thanks for joining us. First of all, what would you say has been Welsh Water’s greatest customer experience and service achievement to date?
T Hughes: Well, I think that’s an easy one for us. One of the things that Welsh Water is very focused on is its customers. Welsh Water has won a few awards in its time. The most important one was in autumn 2012 when we were voted best utility in the half-yearly UK CSI survey; that’s a survey of 26,000 consumers across the UK. There’s nothing like being voted best by the people who you serve.
Customer Management IQ: What are your three biggest challenges in your customer experience projects moving into 2013, and why?
T Hughes: The first one, I think, is typical of most people in my sector, really. It’s about trying to sift through all of that customer research that we all get, and making the research and information turn into insight, so trying to understand exactly what customers are looking for.
The second one, really, revolves around developing business cases for emerging customer trends typically in social media. So the ability to see a trend and then understand exactly how you can deliver a great service. Sometimes that’s difficult because those trends are just emerging and some of the costs can be quite considerable, and making them business-beneficial is sometimes challenging.
And then the third one is very focused on my industry which is the water industry. There’s lots of change going on within the sector. And there’s a desire for the regulator to drive a greater retailing focus into the sector and, at the moment, quite a challenge to understand exactly what that means for companies.
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