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Thames Water announces key milestones of its Turnaround plan

Monday 14th March 2022 13:40

A customer agent on the phone

  • Thames Water announced today a range of customer improvements that mark key milestones as it heads into year 2 of its 8-year Turnaround plan
  • The transformation of customer services is underway to better meet evolving customer needs and bring contact centres back on-shore and in-house
  • Thames Water is also aligning its operational team to focus on two regional areas: London and Thames Valley & Home Counties (TVHC) to meet customers’ and communities’ specific needs and improve environmental performance

Improved focus on customers:

The business is well underway with a broad change programme to drive better service for customers by:

  • Bringing on-shore telephony channels available to customers across billing, waste and water related enquiries with UK only Contact Centres based in the Thames Water region.
  • Enhancing its website, social media, video calling and chat capabilities to offer a fully multi-channel experience for customers while continuing to prioritise high quality voice channels to support its vulnerable customers and those with complex queries.
  • Investing over £100m in Smart Meters integrated with online billing and a customer portal providing information to offer an easy way of reducing water usage and helping conserve scarce environmental resources.
Our aim is to always deliver brilliant customer service and environmental performance - it’s the biggest priorities for our turnaround plan.
Sarah Bentley - CEO, Thames Water
Sarah Bentley
CEO, Thames Water

New operational management model to drive better performance for customers and the environment:

The business is pressing ahead with its drive to move closer to the customers and communities it serves, to meet their needs more closely and drive performance improvements. From 1 April the frontline operational organisation will be managed by two regionally based teams: London, and Thames Valley & Home Counties (TVHC). By taking a regional and local delivery model, the business is committed to serve neighbourhood challenges faster, drive improvements quicker, build strong local partnerships and be more flexible in its approach.

Sarah Bentley, CEO, Thames Water said: “We launched our turnaround plan in March last year. It stretches over eight years and will transform our company from an underperformer to join the rest of our industry and from there we will have the opportunity to lead the way in delivering excellent customer service and generating public value.

“Today’s announcement is the next step in this journey. Our aim is to always deliver brilliant customer service and environmental performance - it’s the biggest priorities for our turnaround plan.  We recognise that customers want a variety of ways to contact us so we are investing further in a range of digital channels such as web chat and social media while still prioritising our telephony channels and bringing this service back in-house and on-shore.

“In addition, since launching our turnaround strategy, I have become acutely aware that we do not offer our customers the local customer service that they want and deserve. So the change we are making today to realign our business will better serve our customers in London and those in the Thames Valley and deliver significantly improved customer and environmental performance that is tailored to the needs of each region.”

The company launched its 8- year Turnaround Plan in March 2021 in order to fix the basics, raise the bar and shape the future. It has already seen a number of improvements including improving trends in water quality, complaints management and supply interruptions performance. By putting in place a new ‘frontline first’ focused executive team it is well placed to turnaround its performance and meet its customer and environmental responsibilities.