Tapping advice you can trust

Water retailers must demonstrate the value of switching, says new market entrant Brightwater

Article by Kevin O’Sullivan originally published in the ‘Water Scot’ supplement of The Times on 27th October 2016

The non-domestic water industry in Scotland is about to enter a challenging new phase, according to Roger Green, CEO of new market entrants, Brightwater.

Green’s view is that the water industry is now entering into phase two; phase one was encouraging customers in the non-domestic market to switch – and Brightwater estimates that three quarters of them have now entered into contracts – with the remainder still to play for.

These may be SMEs overwhelmed by other business considerations and the pressures of day-to-day operations, where switching water suppliers has perhaps not been front of mind.

“We’re starting to see companies with three-year contracts ending, now looking at renewals for the first time,” said Green.

“There are new technologies emerging that promise opportunities to take metering to the next level”

“They’re expecting much more than a competitive tariff; that’s a given. They are looking for genuine advice from trusted advisors, first-rate customer service – that means benchmarking and analysis of how they can save water. The conversation has moved on beyond just price. “All of us in the industry are being challenged to raise our game to new levels,” he says.

Green also suggests that the water industry has a lot to learn from the gas and electricity suppliers.

“We’re well behind where gas and electricity suppliers are with metering,” he explains.

“The next innovation in the water market will be an affordable smart metering service as standard, with half-hourly reads, allowing companies to analyse and drive down their usage and also detect problems such as leaks. There are new technologies emerging that promise opportunities to take metering to the next level.”

Green also warns that the non-domestic water industry can ill afford to be complacent over customer service.

Customers will expect much more than a competitive tariff if they are to be persuaded to change, says Roger Green

While all the licensed providers are aiming to be ‘best of breed’, those that win most business will be those that genuinely show a commitment to their customers, evidenced through customer retention and the ability to offer benchmarking, analysis and implementation of water saving initiatives.

Brightwater Services Limited is a new licensed provider of water and wastewater services, based in Scotland, and launched in May 2016. Get in touch with Brightwater by phoning 0330 022 05 70 or visit www.brightwater.com

A PDF version of this article is available for download here