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The future of digital is human

Posted on: 24/04/2017

Digital technology is moving forward at pace and we are all more dependent on keeping up to date with what's going on in our lives than ever before. When I'm out, I often see families and groups of people of all ages fixated with their smart phones and tablets and whilst I don't consider myself to be a digital native like my son and daughter, I know what I’m doing. 

New devices like Amazon Echo are really making me think about what the continual innovation and development of smart devices and the ‘internet of things’ means for our company, customer service and our business in general. 

Our values are at the centre of how we run our business and people are at the heart of everything we do, nowhere is this more important than in customer service. Customers appear in both our priorities and our values, and our drive to deliver for the 7.5m people in our area has won us many awards and accreditations – such as The Institute of Customer Service’s ServiceMark with Distinction and the exacting British Standard BS18477 for our work to support those in our society who are vulnerable. 

As a director of Wales & West Utilities and a board member of Business in the Community (BITC) Wales, I’m proud of the work you all do for the communities we serve. This week is Responsible Business Week which is run by BITC, it’s a unique way of raising the awareness of responsible businesses like ours. And for me, adapting the latest technology and new ways of engaging with customers and delivering a consistent level of service is one of the key challenges for responsible businesses to face.

We offer many different channels for our customers to get in touch with us, these include conventional methods such as the old fashioned telephone, to Twitter, email, letter, or even dropping in on us at our head office, the most important thing is the relationship we build with each customer. 

One thing I’m always impressed with whenever I speak to colleagues across our business is the passion everyone has to do the right thing for our customers. We don't always get things right but where we don't we aim to get things resolved as quickly as possible. It's great that we now resolve over 80% of our complaints within one day. 

Wales and the south west of England has some of the most beautiful and diverse countryside in the UK – and the communities we serve are equally diverse. From Wrexham to Redruth, there are cities, small towns, and sleepy villages. And no matter where our customers are from, we strive to meet their expectations.

So being a responsible business is very important to us and we need to respond quickly and effectively. Delivering an excellent customer experience is what our customers both expect and deserve.

Whilst the future of customer contact may be digital and smart devices, the future of outstanding customer service is most definitely about people – like our colleagues, who are passionate about what you do and want the best for their customers. 

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Mark Oliver

Wales & West Utilities Director of Business Services