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Customer and stakeholder relationships are our priority,
say chief corporate affairs officer David Hawkins and chief customer officer Amanda Singleton.

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Watercare is abuzz with a new mantra – our customers are at the heart of everything we do.

We understand that there is only one way in which we can be true to this aspiration, and that is by looking at our customers’ experiences through their own eyes, by working with them in co-designing what those experiences should be. We are ready for the operational and cultural shift required across the entire company to achieve this. As leaders, we are committed to leading by example, making sure that our day-to-day behaviour inspires our teams to deliver customer excellence. We are working with our teams to put in place the right metrics and incentives to ensure we stay on course.

While our customers have very little to no choice in selecting their water services provider, we want them to think of us as their preferred partner regardless. We want our customers to feel they can trust us for reliable, safe and efficient water and wastewater services to a point where they willingly talk positively about us whenever the situation allows. Today, we have a TouchPoint Net Promoter Score of 30 points, which means we have significantly more customers who already talk positively about us than the number who don’t. However, this is not where we want to be. We are working hard to significantly improve this number, by delivering the experiences that make it easier for our customers to also be advocates for us.

Of the 444,325 customer invoices we generate on average every month, more than 41 per cent are emailed to customers. By further simplifying the process for digital engagements, we are hoping that over the coming months the number of e-bill customers will significantly increase. That means it will require far less effort for our customers to deal with us, and we will have more capacity to invest in higher-value conversations with them.

It is our ambition to be more proactive in the way we engage with customers. Rather than waiting for a customer to call us with a query and be taken through a list of options, we are thinking about how we can predict the customer’s information needs and be there for them without them having to ask. We are working on ways to provide the right level of detail catering to the individual customer’s information needs, not a one-sizefits- all data dump. We are setting up new ways of interacting with our customers, becoming much more relevant in their day-to-day life.

We recognise that trust comes from sustained investment in building strong relationships with all our stakeholders. As a key contributor to the overall public well-being of the city, our relationship with our shareholder, Auckland Council, is healthy. We actively collaborate with all members of the council whanau, iwi leaders, central government and other interest groups to ensure we deliver great collective outcomes for the people of Auckland.

"We recognise that trust comes from sustained investment in building strong relationships with all our stakeholders."