Social media response around the clock

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Thames Water has taken a big step towards providing the best digital customer service in the industry with its new 24 hour social media team.

The company is responding to around 500 tweets a day within 34 minutes on average, and is set to introduce webchat to its existing digital channels, which also include Facebook.

Digital product manager Acacia Smithson said: “We're currently giving customers the best digital customer service they’ve ever experienced with Thames Water. We’re operating 24/7 customer service on Twitter and Facebook, meaning customers who tweet us during the night get the same high quality support as customers contacting us during the day.

“Our fastest response in February was 1 minute 24 seconds, while the majority of contacts are replied to in under 40 minutes – now that’s real time customer service!”

With the social media team having more than doubled in size, all customers now have a constant service to respond to whatever they are asked. Previously, customers were only guaranteed a response from Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm.

Customer service manager Wasim Rasaq said one of the real benefits of the new team is that customers are better informed of what is going on across the company’s network – which includes 68,000 miles of sewers and 20,000 miles of water pipes – especially at weekends.

“We’re giving one clear message to all our customers, whatever avenue they choose to use to contact us,” he said. “Customers should be able to interact with us on any platform and have one consistent message, at any time of day.”

Acacia added: “We’re continually improving our service – we want to be best in class for social media customer service both inside and out of the water industry. Watch this space.”