Service Plus: Quicker and better service for our customers
South West Water begins a new high tech era of ever improving customer service today with the official unveiling of its £2million Service Plus system.
Service Plus and its cutting edge technology allows staff to deal with problems more efficiently and keep customers fully informed about all our operational activities from fixing burst mains to laying new sewers.
SWW Chief Executive Chris Loughlin said: "Service Plus means our 1.6 million customers will always be in the picture about what we are doing as well as how, when and why we are doing it. And even better, we will be doing it faster than ever before.
"We hope it will be the perfect marriage of technology, processes and people. Along with WaterCare - our new package to help those most in need - it's one more step forward in our developing strategy to further enhance our customer service.
"As a company, we always try to be a champion of the South West and Service Plus represents a £2million high tech investment for both us and the region as a whole."
Under Service Plus, field staff using 'tough book' mobile computers can instantly update information screens at our new Service Centre in Exeter with what's going on at the scene helping our call handlers reassure customers with accurate information from start to finish.
Meanwhile, staff at the Service Centre with access to computerised maps can easily prioritise hundreds of tasks from fixing leaks in Penzance to connecting new homes in Lyme Regis while constantly monitoring the flow of water through our 15,000 kilometre-long pipe network.
Charles Howeson, Chairman of the Consumer Council for Water in the South West, has been invited to officially open the new Service Centre before an audience of regional business leaders, staff, media and customers today.
He will be unveiling a 'virtual plaque' in the Service Centre at South West Water's headquarters, Peninsula House, Exeter, at 11am.
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For more information plus interview and filming opportunities at Friday's opening please see contact at the foot of this page.
EXAMPLE OF HOW SERVICE PLUS WORKS
- Customers ring call centre wondering why their water pressure has dropped. Operator instantly brings up the computerised mapping system SWWIM on screen to check if any work is happening in the area.
- No local work scheduled and inquiry is immediately passed to Service Centre staff who dispatch an inspector and open a log
- Inspector arrives and finds upturned earth with a damaged mains pipe just visible below. He enters what work is needed on his 'tough book'. The Service Centre prioritises task, sends a team to repair and informs priority needs customers in the area that their supply may be switched off
- Meanwhile, a local builder,informs our call centre that he might have smashed into one of our mains pipe with a digger a few hours before. Service Centre updates incident log.
- After checking the already updated log on his 'tough book', our inspector may knock on doors or leave notes to tell residents what is happening. Service Centre contacts those who rang in earlier and those now ringing in after returning home to explain what is being done.
- Repairs team from our partner contractors arrive to repair damaged main and full pressure is restored.
NOTES TO EDITORS
A 'tough book' is a mobile computer designed for field work in all conditions and SWWIM is our computerised mapping system which charts thousands of water mains and sewers. Details on age, condition, catchment areas and service history of pipes are available at the touch of a button
ServicePlus has been two years in the planning and in operation since last October but the system will be constantly upgraded with more IT and process improvements tailored to suit the needs of both customers and the company.
WaterCare is our pioneering package of free measures to help those most in need. From this April, around 7,500 customers will be offered home visits to fit water-saving devices and carry out simple repairs to reduce their water use and bills. Other measures include benefit entitlement checks and more affordable payment plans.