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As it aims to optimise its internal business operations and better address customer needs, Welsh Water has deployed 8x8’s communications platform as a service (CPaaS) Video Interaction application programming interface (API) to improve efficiency and productivity, while also delivering faster service resolution for enhanced customer experience.
Operating since 2001, Welsh Water is a not-for-profit company responsible for supplying drinking water and wastewater services to Wales and western England. It serves 1.4 million homes and businesses with services for three million people in most of Wales, Herefordshire and parts of Deeside. Around 828 million litres of water are supplied every day.
Welsh Water is the sixth largest of the 10 regulated water and sewerage companies in England and Wales. Responsible for providing a continuous, high-quality supply of drinking water, and for taking away, treating and properly disposing of the wastewater produced, the company said it is fully committed to delivering the best quality service at the least possible cost.
The company is owned, financed and managed by Glas Cymru, a company limited by guarantee – and as such has no shareholders – operating a business model that aims to reduce Welsh Water’s asset financing cost, the water industry’s single biggest cost. Financing efficiency savings to date have largely been used to build up reserves to insulate Welsh Water and its customers from any unexpected costs.
Yet in maintaining this quality benchmark, Welsh Water has faced challenges in providing customer support, especially when related to triaging customer issues such as leaking or burst pipes. A lack of visual data made it difficult for staff to know what exactly was needed to fix an issue, including the necessary tools, leading to wasted time and money – a cost of approximately £130 per trip.
Peter O’Hanlon, Welsh Water
“Resolving issues for customers requires a multistep process to identify the severity, who is best equipped to fix the issue, and where it falls on the list of current priorities,” said Peter O’Hanlon, head of delivery for customer strategy at Welsh Water.
“The 8x8 Video Interaction API allows us to better perform triage when issues and problems arise, over the phone or mobile device, without needing to send someone out straight away to the physical location. We’re now better equipped to solve problems faster, which is a benefit to both us and our customers.”
8x8 CPaaS includes SMS, voice, chat apps, video and performance monitoring, and Welsh Water has been able to better communicate with customers through the 8x8 Video Interaction solution that allows for real-time video communication and a better understanding of customer issues.
Through the use of video, Welsh Water has been able to connect with customers remotely to better diagnose problems correctly the first time, judge their severity and priority, and develop an appropriate plan of action, leading to better customer service experiences.
“When a customer has a service issue, they want it resolved as quickly as possible. Not identifying and fixing the problem in a timely manner can negatively impact productivity and operating costs, as well as employee and customer experience,” said Stephen Hamill, general manager of CPaaS at 8x8. “When dealing with stressful situations, such as water issues, the right technology makes all the difference to both employee and customer experiences.”
Read more about CPaaS
- How do you build a CPaaS business case: No matter how big or small the deployment, building a business case for CPaaS is essential to creating a more flexible and controlled communications environment.
- CPaaS – a technology for the future: There is received wisdom that as businesses flock towards the cloud, they are looking for a single platform on which to manage all their communication needs, leading to boom times ahead for communications.
- Juniper: 5G IoT milestone set to be reached while OTT messaging to drive CPaaS: Analyst makes bullish predictions for next-gen mobile-based internet of things and communications platforms-as-a-service markets.
- Vercom plots ‘spectacular’ entry into global CPaaS market with MailerLite acquisition: Communications platform-as-a-service market continues hot streak as Polish solutions provider enters the world stage by acquiring global provider of tools for email communication.