Southern Water is transforming its customer service and revenue management through IT services from Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
The utilities company is implementing systems in its front and back-office operations, and redesigning internal processes as part of the agreement. It is aiming to improve cash collection and debt management, increase customer service capabilities, and reduce operational costs.
Southern Water hopes to increase the use of self-service channels for customers requiring help and ensure staff have the tools necessary to address customer issues at the first contact.
“It’s our constant endeavor to improve our customer interactions and deliver a more efficient service," said Darren Bentham, chief customer officer at Southern Water.
"The transformational programme TCS is delivering will support two of our major goals: increase a customer’s ability to find a solution through self-service channels; and empower our teams to deliver flawless service with first time resolution,” he added.
“Our customers will benefit from a highly consistent experience over web, mobile and interactive voice response channels. They will also find our customer service teams to be some of the best-informed and most proactive in the industry.”
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Utility companies have been conservative when it comes to outsourcing IT, but this is increasing. With pressure to drive down costs, many utilities have had to outsource.
In 2011. E.ON signed a $1.4bn (£897m) five-year deal with HP to provide datacentre and desktop services to more than 80,000 workers. T-Systems also won a €1bn contract with the energy firm that will last between five and seven years. It will take over responsibility for the management of voice and data networks, and about 220 workers will transfer to T-Systems from E.ON.
In the same year, Centrica signed a deal to take advantage of onshore and offshore software testing skills through an £8m deal with Software Quality Systems (SQS).