National Customer Service Week

Head of Service Recovery

Sally Ainsworth

As National Customer Service Week comes to a close, Sally Ainsworth, Head of Service Recovery, reflects on the progress United Utilities has made in improving customer satisfaction and reducing complaints, and what comes next.

We’ve been delighted to celebrate Customer Service Week with our employees. It has been an excellent opportunity to discuss top tips and share the successes of our frontline teams, who go out of their way every day to ensure that our customers have the best possible experience. We’ve also been reflecting on how far we have come as an organisation in improving customer satisfaction and reducing complaints, and where we go next.

Over the past few years we have taken steps to make things better from how quickly we answer contacts; to how we proactively communicate during events; ensuring we have support available to the people who need it most through our Priority Services scheme and developing our online capabilities.

We like to get out and talk to lots of people across the region about our services, whether that’s out in the community or via our 7000 strong customer panel, we also engage with our employees, most of whom are also customers. Many of our changes and improvements have come from employee or customer suggestions.
We are thrilled to have been recognised by the Institute of Customer Service, which has named United Utilities as the most improved utility in the UK and the fifth most improved brand across the country, from 247 companies, including big names such as Amazon and John Lewis.

We recently achieved “Service Mark with Distinction“, through the Institute of Customer Service. There are only 14 companies in the country who have achieved distinction, so we are really proud and this goes a long way in confirming to us that the steps we have taken are taking us in the right direction for our people and for our customers. But we are not complacent and are keen to keep learning and improving.

We have now been involved with The WOW! Awards for 6 years.  26,000 customers have taken part and hearing the fantastic feedback is wonderful.  It’s been a key element in driving our customer service culture throughout the whole business. Some of our employees have received over 300 nominations direct from customers, which is amazing and they are making a real difference.

National Customer Service Week is now at an end but we never stop thinking about customers and how we can improve their experience. I have worked for United Utilities for a scary 27 years and I am proud to have played a part in the step changes we have made. There is much more planned for future and we will continue to evolve to provide great service.

Thank you to all of our employees who make our success possible and to the customers who engage with us to help shape the future of our service.