The number of customers who are satisfied with how their queries have been dealt with by water companies has risen over the past two years.
New figures show Anglian, Wessex and United Utilities performed significantly above industry average in 2017/18 while Affinity, Thames and Sutton & East Surrey fall below industry averages for customer service satisfaction.
The scores are based on Ofwat’s latest service incentive mechanism (SIM) survey, which surveyed an average of 800 customers for each company and found satisfaction about how billing, cleaning and waste enquiries are dealt with has grown.
Anglian Water ranked highest for customer satisfaction with an overall score of 4.52 compared to an industry average of 4.40, out of 5. The top five water companies for 2017/18 for customer satisfaction were Anglian, Wessex, United Utilities, Northumbrian and Portsmouth – which was the only water only company (WOC) in the top five.
Performing least well was Sutton & East Surrey with a score of 4.16, just above it was Thames. Affinity, southern and Severn Trent were all in the bottom five for overall satisfaction.
Improvements in satisfaction have been seen across all queries compared to 2016/17, with waste queries seeing the greatest improvement in satisfaction score from 4.3 to 4.39, while billing remains the most satisfactory area increasing to a score of 4.49 from 4.47.
Customers who raised queries online reported the most satisfactory responses but the number of customers using online services was small compared to the numbers of enquiries dealt with over the telephone, which accounted for 13,475 of queries.
Of the 15,000 customers surveyed about recent queries they had raised with their water company, 6,640 related to billing, 5,650 to cleaning, and 2,683 to waste.
The survey found that 80% of customers considered their matter to be fully resolved, and the length of time it took to resolve an issue had no real impact on resolution satisfaction.
Portsmouth, Dee Valley and Anglian had the highest proportion of customers who felt their query was fully resolved at 84% each while the average was 80%. Thames was rated lowest with 73% of customers reporting their problem had been resolved by the company.
Unresolved queries were least satisfactory for customers but still scored an average 3.07 out of 5 score across all companies.