Our strategy

We wouldn’t exist without our customers, which is why our strategy is all about delivering for them. See the key areas of our strategy below.

Being ‘Here for you’ – creating lifelong customer advocates

We want to be there for all customers, no matter when they need us. Our priorities in this area are:

  • Double our priority service customer support register by 2020
  • Provide dedicated and face-to-face customer support during and after incidents until a return to normality 
  • Launch an innovative online community to host and facilitate conversations between customers on key topics to reflect what matters to them, to continually enhance our customer insight
  • Utilise mutually beneficial partnerships to improve the scope and scale of our customer support offering, working with partners such as Age UK and the Fire and Rescue Service
  • Launch a new contact centre platform to improve operational resilience and the effectiveness and efficiency of resolving customer queries 
  • Use smart technology, enabled by investment in our metering programme, to proactively identify consumption related bill queries and help customers understand their usage


Using technology to turn customer insight into action

We want to be smart about the way we work, with customers at the heart of everything we do. Our priorities in this area are:

  • Increase capability to allow quicker deployment of new technology to improve service to customers
  • Build new field force management technology to allow us to get the right team to the right job, and make sure we are able to communicate with customers during the work 
  • Combine real-time ‘on the ground’ and ‘operational’ insight during incidents to improve the speed and quality of our response
  • Enhance customer self-service functionality to improve customer advocacy and reduce voice call dependency to enable customer choice
  • Develop the use of operational data to better manage our network, including applying new techniques to predict leaks and floods enabling us to be more proactive in our response 
  • Deliver a leading edge billing engine and customer service platform to support service ambitions and system resilience
  • Develop an in-house function to monitor, measure and digitise our most important ‘customer journeys’


Invest in resilient, proactively maintained digitised assets

We want to invest in our network to improve our pipes and sewers, and to reduce leakage. Our priorities in this area are:

  • Reduce leakage from our network by 15% between 2020 and 2025 and by 50% by 2050
  • Continue significant investment programme with £2 billion committed before 2020 
  • Replace a further 338 km of water mains before 2020
  • Help customers reduce leaks from their pipes, using smart meters to aid detection
  • Install over 1,000 sewer depth monitors to be able to better understand where to target proactive sewer cleaning
  • Investment at 11 further sewage treatment works by 2020 to meet population growth needs


Protecting the environment

We care about our environment just as much as our customers do. Our priorities in this area are:

  • Reduce the number of pollution incidents to zero in the medium to long-term
  • Become 4 star rated under the Environmental Performance Assessment (EPA) framework
  • Maximise the potential of innovation to increase the amount of energy that we produce, targeting a further 17% increase in all renewable energy generation to 517GWh by 2025
  • To extract and recycle 100% of energy and materials from the wastewater in our region
  • To protect and enhance biodiversity during our activities through continued investment at our sites


A collaborative and capable team, dedicated to serving customers

We want to make sure we have the right people in the right jobs, that they’re happy and engaged, and dedicated to helping our customers. Our priorities in this area are:

  • Developing a high-performance culture to drive the right outcomes for our customers and the environment 
  • Building a resilient resource model allowing the organisation to be primed to deliver 24/7 in an efficient and cost-effective way
  • Build a skilled workforce that differentiates us both now and in the future 
  • Organise ourselves to deliver what our customers want and embed ways of working that deliver for customers
  • Deliver a proactive, customer focused service to our people through robust processes and advice
  • Continue to review and prioritise key health and safety risk areas to eliminate and mitigate risks to our people, contractors and members of the public
  • Working with our operational teams and supply chain partners to continue to provide clear leadership direction and embrace new technology to enhance health and safety

This information has been taken directly from our annual report.