Southern Water is looking for new partners to help it better manage its customer services and contact centre, which will be responsible for nearly 10 million customer interactions each year.
The water and waste management company, which covers the counties of Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, expects that the chosen partners will “blend” their services with its current in-house capabilities.
It is thought that the deals could be worth between £80 million and £107 million.
An online contract notice states: “We are seeking long-term partner(s) who share our vision for customer excellence and who can work with us in integrating their capability with our in-house capability to increase customer satisfaction, reduce the cost to serve our customers and helps us to manage customer debt effectively.”
Southern Water also wants to establish how interfaces can be used between itself and the service providers so that it can retain accountability for strategy, policy and key customer “touch points”, such as complaints management and dispute resolution, whilst the service providers have end-to-end ownership of “key customer journeys”, so that they can boost customer satisfaction and reduce costs.
It expects that the contracts will cover the following services:
• Inbound and out-bound phone contacts working with Southern Water’s in-house capability
• Channel integration, including web chat and social media services
• Non-voice contacts, including letters, emails, text
• Back office support functions
• Aspects of debt management
• Meter reading services
• Billing, print, mail and payment solutions
• Reporting and analytics, which Southern Water states is key to understanding its customers “both in terms of behaviours and their view of business”
Although the contract notice states that Southern Water is open to working with more than one provider, it also highlights that it would prefer to minimise the number of contracts.
It is expected that suppliers will be named in the second half of this year.