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'customer survey'

Oct 13

How are we doing? Highlights from our Customer Survey

Posted to The Water Log on October 13, 2014 at 4:28 PM by Jenny Craft

Over the last ten years, we've conducted periodic customer surveys to measure satisfaction with our water service, sewer service, and customer support.

This year, in addition to the phone survey, we held focus groups to learn more about our customers’ expectations, key drivers of satisfaction, and preferred methods for making a payment and getting information about their account or service. The focus group feedback led to new survey questions about communication preferences and new services.

Thank you to the 400 customers who responded to the survey. We appreciate your feedback, and we’re using the results to identify and prioritize improvements, as well as to inform future planning. Below are the key takeaways from the survey results.

Questions? Contact Jenny Craft, Communications Manager.

Overall satisfaction with Charleston Water System remains high
Respondents gave Charleston Water an average overall satisfaction rating of an 8.8 on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1=not satisfied at all and 10=very satisfied. The average rating has been between 8 and 9 for every survey, showing a trend of consistently high satisfaction.

What’s most important to customers?
Customers said the following factors are key to their level of satisfaction with their water utility:
  • Reliable water and sewer service
  • Quality drinking water
  • Water that tastes good
  • Good customer service (caring, courteous and helpful)
  • Quick response to a problem
  • Easy bill payment options
  • Value—good service for the cost

Respondents gave CWS high ratings on all satisfaction factors except value
Just under half of the respondents said CWS is doing a very good job of providing good value for the cost of water and sewer services. This, combined with a high number of free-response comments about high sewer rates, points to “value of services” as a key opportunity for improvement.

Satisfaction with water quality has rebounded after the 2012 algae-induced taste and odor episode
A combination of recent improvements at our treatment plant, which enable us to better remove the harmless but unpleasant earthy-musty taste and smell associated with Springtime algae in our source water, and mild algae growth the last two years, resulted in a marked increase in customer satisfaction with water quality and taste.

Customers want to receive notification about planned or emergency service interruptions
In the event of a water service interruption, most customers expect us to call or text them with information. We don’t current have this capability, but it’s something we’ll be looking at based on this feedback.

Moderate interest in live chat, Facebook, a CWS app, and access to water consumption data
We don’t currently offer these services, but focus group participants expressed interest in them, so we asked about it in the survey. About a third of survey respondents said they would be very likely or somewhat likely use these services. We’ll consider this in determining if or when to move forward with implementing these services.