Competition in the Water Industry part 5 (final in series)
To successfully manage the issues I described in my previous blogs will require companies selling water to:
- Deliver accurate and timely bills at frequencies demanded by customers;
- Ensure customers feel in charge of their own information;
- Engage with customers effectively using multi-channel communication.
Many customers are familiar with and use IT based communications, mobile, internet, social media, etc., however others prefer more 'traditional' methods, such as phone or letter. All must be seamlessly integrated to ensure customer satisfaction. Effective systems will also help to reduce costs. Undoubtedly smart meters will help, but who should pay for these?
Infrastructure providers must successfully:
- Reduce service impacts year on year;
- Manage the risk of ageing assets;
- Reduce running costs whilst continuing to enhance to environment;
- Continually demonstrate the value they provide.
For all of the above issues the companies who effectively gather and mange information (about assets, customers, environment, etc.) will be best placed to offer value, and hence have sustainable success in a competitive water sector.