South Staffs Water tops consumer satisfaction survey

15 May 2014

South Staffs Water has topped a new survey which looks at customer satisfaction in the water industry.

Around 96% of customers said they were satisfied with the overall service provided by the water company - which is an 8% improvement on 2012 and the highest increase of all water companies.

This industry leading score was also achieved by Cambridge Water, the company South Staffs Water has owned since 2011.

A further 74% were in agreement that it represented value for money and 70% said that their water charges were affordable.

The Water Matters survey was carried out by the Consumer Council for Water which represents the interests of water consumers in England and Wales, and took account of the views of 5805 consumers.

The quality, quantity and safety of water supplied by the company scored highly. Around 97% were happy with the reliability of supply and 92% were satisfied with its safety. Above average scores were also achieved for its taste, smell, colour, appearance and hardness.

Managing director Phil Newland said: "Providing our customers with a consistent supply of the highest quality water while ensuring our water bill is the third lowest in the country is one of our top priorities and I am happy that our customers recognise this."

The majority of consumers surveyed also said they trusted South Staffs Water to deliver a service and 67% agreed the company cared about the service it gave to customers.

Of the 14% of customers who had contacted the water company over the past year, 95% said they were satisfied with the way their query was handled and none had contacted the company to complain.

Overall South Staffs Water delivered an above average performance in two thirds of the queries relating to water only companies.

The only area where the company performed lower than average related to the number of water meters installed – only 35% of respondents had a water meter compared to a national average of 54%

Mr Newland added: "We recognise our metering levels are low, however, we are encouraged that 68% of customers are aware of our free meter option and 45% know that they can change back to rateable value charges within 12 months. We will be ensuring that more and more of our customers are aware of these and the many other benefits metering has, as we head into our new business plan period.

He added: "While these surveys provide an excellent benchmark of our performance and show that we are performing well as a company, we are never complacent and will be analysing the responses to see where we can further improve our customer experience in the future."