Helping Water Companies Shape Effective Business Strategies
Our understanding of the Water Industry combined with our unparalleled experience of researching this sector mean that we continue to work very closely with a number of water companies on a variety of strategic projects aimed at informing their business planning and “business as usual” activities. Here are a few of the projects that we’re currently handling.
Earlier this year we were awarded a 3-year contract by OFWAT for customer satisfaction and experience research among water companies’ domestic and developer customers (known as C-MeX and D-MeX). The research encompasses all water and sewerage companies across England and Wales and is ongoing. We’re conducting over 27,000 domestic customer interviews every year, on a monthly basis, using a mixture of online, telephone and face-to-face interviews, and around 13,000 non-domestic customers each year via telephone interviews.
In addition to running this study for Ofwat, we’re in discussion with a number of water companies who are interested in boosting the surveys in their area to replicate the main Ofwat study but will also provide them with additional interviews – and therefore a more robust base for analysis.
Impact of Covid 19 on Behaviours and Usage for South East Water
We’re working with South East Water to undertake qualitative and quantitative research through the upheaval of the current Covid 19 crisis and beyond. We were already working with South East Water, Southern Water and the Behavioural Insights Team on a joint project to study water usage behaviours and to test behavioural change techniques. South East Water then asked us to add more households to the study and requested that lockdown behaviours should be studied specifically. The qualitative element of the project is varied with full interviews taking place at regular intervals to fit in with participant and client needs. Between interviews, households are keeping written and video diaries to provide ongoing insight to help SEW evolve their services and communications in line with customer requirements throughout the pandemic. Our “Covid Panel” have are also being set specific tasks such as water saving exercises or understanding how attitudes towards suppliers across a range of sectors is evolving. This has continued through the lockdown and the plan is to revisit the households sometime after the danger has passed, to see how attitudes, behaviours and needs may have changed. This qualitative work is being supplemented by quantitative interviews to measure some of the insights..
Priorities Tracker for South Staffs Water and Cambridge Water Company
We’ve been commissioned by SSC (South Staffs Water and Cambridge Water) to track Customer Priorities over a three-year period, with the overarching objective of providing the company with a high level of confidence that their business plans are based around customers’ changing priorities.
The first year of the tracker combines qualitative research using a range of pre-tasked methodologies – with a stated preference survey covering a representative sample of over 1000 customers.
South East Water Business Users
The largest 200,000 water customers across Britain use one third of all water. In March 2020 OFWAT and the Environment Agency requested that wholesalers and retailers produce a joint plan of action setting out how they intend to work together to deliver “significantly improved levels of water efficiency in the business sector”. We were commissioned by South East Water to conduct research to understand what steps might be taken to encourage greater water efficiency in the business sector and what appetite there is among business customers for a range of different options. In order to provide a robust, but detailed, understanding of large users’ perspectives on this issue and a strategy for taking this forward within the industry, we proposed an integrated project combining qualitative depth interviews and a telephone survey of large users. Key sector stakeholders have joined a Steering Group to help drive this forward.