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Voice of the Customer programme case study: Irish Water

Using the customer voice to catalyse behavioural change

about irish water

Irish Water is Ireland’s national water utility. It’s responsible for the operation of all public water and wastewater services including the management of national water and wastewater assets, maintenance of the water/wastewater system, investment and planning, managing capital projects, customer care and billing.

1. The challenge

Established in 2013, Irish Water delivers 1.7 billion litres of water a day to homes and business and safely returns wastewater to the environment. The Water Services Strategic Plan set out that a key objective for Irish Water was ‘to establish both customer trust and a reputation for excellent service’. In meeting this objective, the organisation is highly dependent on local authorities, contractors and contact centre agents.

2.  How W5 helped

We understood that Irish Water needed to be able to understand the customer experience ecosystem, measure the parts, appreciate the dependencies and, crucially, share this information across the organisation to empower all parts of the organisation with timely, actionable and easy to understand insights. We designed and built a ‘Voice of the Customer’ programme (VoC) that established a clear link for staff and all external stakeholders between behaviours, systems, processes and customer reaction

3. Results

Satisfaction, ease and sentiment scores on key journeys all improved in the first 18 months by 45%. Instrumental to achieving the improvements was the establishment of the Irish Water CX Board and CX Action Task Force. They are responsible for actioning improvements suggested by the VoC programme and are made up of key stakeholders from across the business, ensuring strong governance and coordination around customer experience.

What Irish Water said about the project

"The Voice of the Customer programme has resulted in valuable insights being shared with us on a monthly basis. Before the implementation of the programme, we were developing continuous improvement initiatives in the hope that they would improve the customer service experience. Since the implementation of the programme, we are armed with evidence-based insights, which direct us to specific checkpoints in the customer journey. Our continuous improvements initiatives are now targeted at the most appropriate activities, resulting in a much-improved customer experience."

Yvonne Harris
Head of Customer Operations, Irish Water
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