Gas emergency and pipeline service Wales & West Utilities has been accredited by the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) as achieving its ServiceMark with Distinction as the company has successfully demonstrated meeting the demanding national customer service standard.
Wales & West Utilities was first awarded the prestigious ICS ServiceMark in 2014 – and building on its commitment to customer service, the company, which serves 7.5m people across Wales and the south west of England, has been reaccredited at distinction level by the professional body, which is dedicated to leading customer service performance and professionalism in the UK.
The company achieved a customer satisfaction score of 90.4, considerably higher than the utility sector benchmark of 73.3 and the all sector benchmark score of 77.4 reinforcing Wales & West Utilities’ market leading customer service standards. ServiceMark is granted for the next three years and is the Institute of Customer Service’s most thorough accreditation.
The accreditation followed a rigorous week-long assessment, conducted by an independent assessor, and involved staff and customer surveys, employee interviews and analysis of all company customer-led documentation and processes. The assessment also saw Wales & West Utilities prepare an improvement plan which picks up key learning from the survey results.
Wales & West Utilities Chief Executive Graham Edwards said:
“I am delighted that we have achieved this prestigious accreditation for our customer service. As a values-driven business, how we do things is just as important to us as what we do. This endorsement by the ICS is down to our colleagues’ dedication to putting our customers first and putting their needs at the core of our business. Historically the utility sector has not performed well in the customer service field and I’m proud that we’re leading the way in delivering customer service excellence.
“Delivering outstanding levels of safety, reliability and service continues to be our ambition as a business and we’re not going to be complacent – we know there is always more we can do to make sure our customers receive the best service possible. That’s why we’re investing more than ever in our people – both operational and colleagues who support our activities from the office, to maintain our customer-focussed culture that meets the expectations of our customers and the communities we serve.”
Jo Causon, chief executive, Institute of Customer Service, said:
“Wales & West Utilities is part of a select band of organisations who understand that a well thought out customer service strategy can positively affect the bottom line. Achieving ServiceMark once is a sign that Wales & West Utilities is determined to demonstrate a commitment to continuously improve customer service standards and constantly evolve plans for service improvement. Achieving it again demonstrates a determination to meet customer needs as their preferences constantly change and evolve. Their success puts them amongst the top bracket of organisations who have achieved ServiceMark in the UK, when it comes to service, and by continuing to respond to the demands of their customers, Wales & West Utilities will be in a stronger position to offer customers what they want, when they want and how they want it.”
Wales & West Utilities are also the first gas network to have been recognised for meeting requirements, in line with British Standard 18477, for its work to help vulnerable customers.
Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If anyone smells gas, thinks they have a gas leak, or suspects carbon monoxide poisoning, they should call us on 0800 111 999 and our engineers will be there to help, day or night.
The company also has a multi-million pound, 30-year gas pipe investment programme which began in 2002. Old metal pipes within 30 metres of buildings are being upgraded to new plastic ones to make sure homes and businesses continue to receive a safe and reliable gas supply now and in the future.