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Helping Sydney Water put the customer at the heart of their service faults process

We played a key role in putting customers at the heart of the service faults journey, assisting Sydney Water to become a customer-centric business.

The challenge

Sydney Water is Australia's largest water and wastewater provider, providing safe drinking water to almost 5 million people across Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra. By 2020, Sydney Water’s goal is to transform itself from an asset focused to a customer-centric organisation. Underpinning this is Sydney Water’s aspiration to put customers at the heart of everything they do. As part of their customer-centric vision, Sydney Water wanted to deep dive into the Troubleshoot journey – moments customers need to intervene because their service is not working properly, or when they are impacted by Sydney Water operational activities – and design a future experience that would resolve pain points and meet customer needs, feeding the development of a new operational model.

The situation

The approach

The research

We started by ‘looking-in’ - reviewing complaints, interviewing stakeholders, listening in on customer calls and shadowing staff in the field. We then took a ‘looking-out’ approach from the customer perspective by conducting phone interviews and site visits with customers. Our design approach was heavy on ideation, prototyping and testing. We took our research insights and developed concepts to test, iterated and re-tested with customers. Through staff workshops, we assessed the feasibility and viability of the desired future state, identifying risks, challenges and key considerations.

The findings

This research led us to uncover key moments for customers and develop insights which greatly altered the way Sydney Water considered their customers. We discovered 'customers' were not only the people who held an account with Sydney Water, but all people affected by a problem. From the person who discovered a leak, to the parent detouring around a blocked road to pick up their kids from school, many people were affected and needed a way to report, contact and recieve assistance. We also discovered the need for contact centre staff to be empowered to diagnose problems, so the right solution could be actioned straight away.

The solution

These insights, among several others, underpinned the future state we designed. In collaboration with Sydney Water, we translated each stage of the future experience into operational and data models, processes, tools and systems, skills and other capabilities and requirements.

The impact

Sydney Water
Design recommendations have been implemented and the project provided a tangible direction for delivering on the customer-centric vision through a new operational model.

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