United Utilities becomes first company to receive 100,000 customer commendations in the WOW! Awards scheme

United Utilities has become the first company ever to receive 100,000 commendations from its customers through the WOW! Awards scheme.

The North West’s water company joined the WOW! Awards in 2012. The first nomination it received was for a billing agent, who a customer said provided “brilliant and considerate service”.

Now, just over 11 years later, wastewater colleagues Daniel Wilcock - Customer Support Technician, and Carl Smith - who works through contractor Sapphire, have received the company’s 100,000th award.

The feedback came from a customer who said: “The guys came out to sort a problem. They were friendly and efficient, but above all they explained every step what they were looking for and how they were going to locate the fault. Being 'older' customers the patience and consideration taken was very much appreciated and all this in dreadful weather.”

Daniel and Carl said: “It’s nice to be recognised simply for doing our daily job of resolving customer issues. Receiving customer feedback is always great as it reminds us that what we do matters to people.”

United Utilities has now received over three times more WOWs than written complaints, and in 2022/23 received almost 19,000 WOW! nominations – up 3% on the previous year.

Mike Gauterin, Customer Services Director at United Utilities, said: “We’re so proud to be the first company to achieve 100,000 WOW! Awards. It’s a clear demonstration of the importance of customer service to everyone who works at United Utilities.

“The nominations that come in are so personal, highlighting everything from a bit of banter while a technician clears a sewer blockage, to a contact centre colleague on the end of the phone who takes time to listen and find a solution for a customer facing financial difficulties.

“Great customer service is all about making a connection and doing the right thing – and these awards show that our colleagues across all areas of the business are delivering this every day.”

To mark the occasion a special event was held at the company’s headquarters in Warrington, with WOW! Awards founder Derek Williams handing out certificates and congratulating colleagues.

As well as the 100,000th WOW! Award there was also recognition for:

  • Stephen Iveson, Wastewater Customer Support Technician – More than 700 WOWs
  • Wayne Eccles, Wastewater Customer Support Technician – More than 600 WOWs
  • Heather Parry, Customer Advisor – More than 500 WOWs
  • Marcus Hayward, Water Customer Technician – More than 300 WOWs
  • Michael Atherton, Customer Advisor – More than 50 WOWs

Stephen Iveson said: “I’m very proud to have received over 700 WOWs over the last four years. I love being out and about helping customers directly, and the feedback is really important to me.”

Derek Williams added: “100,000 WOW! Awards is more than we ever thought any company would reach and we’re absolutely delighted that United Utilities has achieved this milestone.

“This level of customer feedback really is unheard of - well done to everyone at United Utilities – and here’s to the next 100,000!”

The independent WOW! Awards scheme offers a quick and easy way for customers to provide feedback about the service they receive via a dedicated website. The comments are used by United Utilities as part of its colleague recognition programme, helping to boost engagement and celebrate excellent service.

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