Nicola Eaton Sawford, director, Customer Whisperers Customers, Energy retail, Opinion

"Forget you are a water company and accept in your heart that only 9 or 10 out of 10 means good"

A company who is focused on customer experience is not focused on what it is or what it does. It thinks purely in terms of the experience customers have – today and in the future. I hear much about the need to “think like a retailer”, and too often that is taken to mean “think about yourself as if you were a retailer”. It actually means “think like a customer” because that is quite simply what great retailers do; and the really smart ones innovate and anticipate.

It takes time to teach whole organisations to truly think like a customer but the benefits are staggering. Amazon’s 1-click buying is website-customer-experience genius that was dismissed as “inconsequential” when first launched – it elegantly addresses a problem you’re unlikely to unearth in CSAT and NPS feedback.

What could it mean for a water company that the Amazon 1-click patent expires this year, meaning they will no longer hold exclusive rights to store payment information and execute subsequent purchases with a single mouse-click. The method will be soon become a customers’ default expectation.

Forget you are a water company. Think like a customer. Raise your performance bar. Shamelessly imitate the best in class. And you will likely become the best water company. Innovate and anticipate. And you will surely become the best water company.