Serving our customers
Assessing our customer experience performance
We're proud to have one of the lowest average bills in the country, and we want to make sure our customers get a great service and experience in all that we do. We judge our performance in a number of ways.
Customer Experience Measurement
To ensure our service is available to everyone, we’re leading the way in digital customer experience across our industry, with online web chat, a dedicated social media team, and improved self-service functionality.
Website usage is accelerating with total self-serve payments increasing from £35 million in 2013 to £76 million in 2019. In November 2019, we introduced Juno our Virtual Assistant to triage the 25,000+ chats we receive from our customers every month.
Juno is able to offer an end-to-end service for a third of these chats, therefore reducing the number of queries that require a human interaction. This frees up our agents to deal with more complex and sensitive issues where they can truly add value to the interaction with our customers.
Our efforts are being recognized too. We were delighted to win gold for ‘Most Effective Digital Customer Experience’ at the European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards – which we see as an endorsement that we are leading the way in digital customer experience across our industry.
Talking to customers about our plans
32,000 of our customers had a direct say in development of our Asset Management Period 7 business plans, covering 2020 to 2025. A further 1.9 million views were considered in its creation.
Our absolute priority is to improve services for all our customers in areas that matter most to them.
A service for everyone
Water should be accessible for everyone and we’re committed to providing help and support to our customers, in ways that suit their circumstances, through a range of schemes and services.
The lowest bills in the country
We’re proud to have one of the lowest average bills in the country, and we want to continue to deliver a service that’s affordable for everyone.
For some of our customers, their circumstances can make them more vulnerable if there's a problem with our service and some may struggle to access our service at all.
Help when you need it
Financial support schemes we offer
We have a range of support available for customers who are struggling to pay. This varies from concessionary payment plans where the plan amount can be negotiated and reviewed regularly, to reduced charges for customers through the WaterSure - Bill Cap scheme or our social tariff, the Big Difference Scheme.
We’re also able to offer financial assistance and debt advice through the Severn Trent Trust Fund.
Financial Hardship Fund
Customers who are struggling to pay their bills can receive help and advice from Severn Trent Trust Fund, an independent charity established in 1997.
Since 1997, Severn Trent have donated over £70m to the Fund. The Severn Trent Trust Fund is able to help with water arrears, and other debts too.
Evidence shows that this help makes a long term impact with customers. Nearly 8 out of 10 grant recipients go on to pay their bills successfully.
A report commissioned by Auriga Services, who administer charitable grants for a number of water companies, reveals that many of those customers who have benefitted from the Severn Trent Trust Fund have had their lives transformed with the help of grants, money advice and income maximisation.
The report concluded that the benefit of these grants to customers and society translates to £3 for every £1 spent.
Priority services register
We’re also able to help customers with some medical conditions and other accessibility requirements.
We offer alternative bill formats and emergency bottled water supplies in the event of an incident to over 100,000 vulnerable customers through the Priority Services Register. Over the next five years we are looking to increase this further and support over 400,000 customers by 2025.
The Priority Service Register helps us to support customers like Adam, who is on the Priority Services Register due to his Diabetes and dialysis treatment.