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Severn Trent

Customer engagement

Severn Trent emerged from the Price Review 19 (PR19) planning process with a substantial body of customer research and engagement and a solid track record in the eyes of the regulator.

Nonetheless, it was not the time to rest on its laurels: it was recognised that much of the learnings and processes established to fuel the business plan could be utilised for the business going forward.

The Challenge

Customer research that was originally conducted to gather customer insight for the business plan options could actually be repurposed to inform key BAU functions e.g. how/where to upgrade pipes.

Additionally, the organisation was keeping one eye on the impending PR24 process and understood that early planning would reap rewards for both the business and its customers. Therefore, Severn Trent engaged Savanta to:

  • Understand and categorise the sources of insight that Severn Trent currently had and where insight could be applied within the business
  • Look to competitors, other industries and best practice in insight generation and application to ensure we were not limited by Severn Trent’s current ways of working

Our approach

Savanta conducted a multi-phase process to achieve these inside-out and outside-in objectives, interviewing internal colleagues, reviewing Ofwat determinations and exploring non-water examples of best practice.

The outcome

The output of this was a six-month plan for Severn Trent’s ongoing customer engagement which was supported by a deep understanding of the organisation’s need to:

  • Cover a diverse variety of customer groups on an ongoing basis in an inclusive and appropriate way. In particular, due to the very different customer experience of a domestic (direct billing relationship) and a business customer (relationship is intermediated by a retailer)
  • Ensure that insight is being generated across all of the different ‘themes’ that cover Severn Trent’s engagement with the customer (e.g. interruptions, connections, roadworks)
  • Incorporate theoretical approaches such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and KPMG Nunwood’s Six Pillars of Customer Experience to both assist in interpreting customer feedback and planning the future of the business

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