More than 70 Wales & West Utilities colleagues came together to learn first-hand and share personal experiences of best practice in customer service, as the company bids to build on its market leading standards during 2018.

The event, which was held at Cardiff’s Arms Park, was led by Wales & West Utilities Chief Executive Graham Edwards and Institute of Customer Service Chief Executive, Jo Causon, who both took time to discuss how companies are each rising to the challenge of meeting the growing expectations of future customers.

Mark Oliver, Wales & West Utilities Director of Business Services, addressing the conference

The event involved key colleagues from Wales & West Utilities operational and back office support teams – from right across Wales and the south west of England.

Wales & West Utilities, which was last year reaccredited by the Institute of Customer Service as achieving its ServiceMark, led discussions around the shift in customer expectations and how these have impacted business as well as the biggest challenges facing customer focussed businesses, what the customer of the future looks like along with the challenges and opportunities they present.

Mark Oliver, Wales & West Utilities Director of Business Services, said:

“This event was a great opportunity for colleagues from right across our network, from Wrexham to Redruth, to come together to discuss examples of excellent customer service in our business, while discussing how we rise to meet the customer service challenges of the future. We put our customers first – and their needs at the core of our business. We are always working to improve the customer experience – be that an internal or external customer – and as businesses we can all learn from each other.”

Jo Causon, Institute of Customer Service Chief Executive, addressing the conference

Jo Causon, Institute of Customer Service Chief Executive, said:

“In an increasingly complex environment, understanding the priorities and needs of customers has never been more important.  Encouragingly, what was clear in the conference was that where organisations focus on understanding their employees better, where they encourage employee innovation, develop skills and recognise a job well done, we will see better engagement and with it, better business performance.”

Last year Wales & West Utilities was awarded a ServiceMark with distinction by The Institute of Customer Service after receiving an overall 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 and meticulous accreditation.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service that serves the south west of England and Wales, puts customers at the heart of the business and is rated the top utility company in the UK for customer service. 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 long-lasting plastic pipes with a lifespan of more than 80 years, to make sure homes and businesses continue to receive a safe and reliable gas supply now and in the future.