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Scottish Water – Award-Winning Social Media from the CX Team of the Year

Scottish Water is a publicly owned company that provides 1.37 billion litres of water and removes 921 million litres of wastewater for 5 million customers daily. They are passionate about providing innovative and leading service to customers by connecting with them and enriching relationships through the customer's channel of choice. Having won both the Social Media and CX Team of the Year (Customer Engagement) categories at the UK Customer Experience Awards 2017, we look at Scottish Water's recent advancements in communicating with customers through social media; plus, their outstanding initiative to launch a multi-disciplinary team that delivers exceptional customer service to their customers across Scotland.

Social Media Aims

As a passionate public utility company, Scottish Water had an objective to proactively communicate with their customers about service issues. Constantly looking for new ways of communicating with customers, the company recognised Facebook as a brilliant opportunity to inform followers about important messages that affect them.

Customer Experience Delivered

Through the use of Facebook adverts, Scottish Water has proactively engaged with customers in a specific area for the first time. Supported by quality text and relevant imagery, the adverts contain a link directing customers to Scottish Water's website where they can see live updates and check service progress. The adverts also encourage customers to engage with the company by leaving comments on posts or by simply clicking through to the website. Engagement has also been promoted through the use of visual content that encourages reactions, shares, and conversations, while also staying memorable in customers’ minds. Scottish Water’s Facebook initiative recently helped to inform Cumbernauld residents when nearly 18,000 customers were out of ware supply for 24 hours. During this period, the company received 5,548 contacts across all calls and social media with both the number of calls and social media contacts being on par. The Facebook adverts reached over 22,000 customers within the affected vicinity, helping to notify them of the event and where to get more information. Out of the 22,254 customers reached, 2,189 engaged with the post, either commenting or reacting using emojis with Scottish Water.

Social Media Business Impact and Results

Since launch, Scottish Water has proactively advertised through Facebook with 11 adverts. During this time, page likes have drastically increased, and a comparison of customer engagement levels show significant improvement. The promotion of Scottish Water via Facebook has brought about greater brand awareness while also educating customers and keeping them informed on matters most important to them.

Customer Engagement Mission

Nearly five years ago Scottish Water embarked on a cultural change journey, placing customers at the heart of the organisation. This move represented a significant advancement in the field of customer experience, changing the organisations focus from product to customer. In order to succeed in their journey, Scottish Water required a one-team approach, aligning the targets and behaviours across all teams towards a common vision. It was critical that all employees work with the same ethos in mind, which is: ‘If you’re not serving the customer, then your role is to serve someone who is.’ Meeting customer-centric targets required a unified approach across all teams. Initial insights showed a worrying loss of customer approval, and in order to turn that around, Scottish Water had to bring people together to work as one team that can excel in customer service.

Engaging the Team for Change

Changes began when Scottish Water conducted insight studies into their leadership community to see what type of people they are as individuals and as a group. The gathered feedback was then used to better recognise and understand areas of strength and areas for improvement. Employees were engaged in a survey that provided the business with important information on where colleagues were performing well and where they could improve. Engagement Groups were created from all departments in order to allow for greater collaboration and networking amongst teams. As a result, trust was built between them, and this formed the base required on which Scottish Water improved customer service. Teams also lost the ‘blame culture' that had previously existed and instead learned to value and praise recognition.

Exceptional Customer Experience Delivered

Customer service stands as a key component of Scottish Water’s vision. Placing the customer at the heart of everything they do has allowed them to provide excellent service and drive positive customer-centric change. The organisation's capital programme is now shaped by their customers. With the customer, the organisation now decides on how much money to spend and on what. Customers were engaged with the publicly owned organisation through a Customer Forum where their views determined where public spending was to be prioritised.

Business Impact and Results

Thanks to these changes and in particular the engagement of customers, Scottish Water is now the UK’s most trusted utility company, with customer satisfaction scores reaching record levels in 2016. Customers have been treated to better service at a lower cost and Scottish Water has become one of the UK’s top performing water companies. Satisfaction among customers rose drastically and satisfaction after issues have been resolved are at an all-time high.

The UK Customer Experience Awards 2018

Do you have a fantastic team and/or strategy to celebrate? If your company is putting the customer at the heart of everything, then entering the UK Customer Experience Awards is a fantastic way to achieve recognition for your initiatives. Entering the awards is a valuable opportunity to bring your team together and celebrate your success. Not only that, the finalists receive a benchmarked feedback form from our panel of independent and impartial judges, and you have the opportunity to present your entry live to them at the awards finals in front of other industry leaders.

This year we have 22 categories aimed at organisations who love their customer and want to increase their engagement, reputation, and turnover. Entries can be from individuals and/or organisations, as well as those companies who have partnered with other businesses to ensure an effective customer experience. To see which categories you could enter this year click here.