South West Water deploys Microsoft Dynamics CRM to 'transform' customer service

South West Water (SWW) says it is "transforming" customer service by using a 750-seat Microsoft Dynamics CRM system.

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South West Water (SWW) says it is "transforming" customer service by using a 750-seat Microsoft Dynamics CRM system.

Previously, SWW’s customer service management system was based around its accounting and billing software.

Peter Hart, IS delivery programme lead at SWW, said: “This solution was very much geared towards recording individual transactions, rather than providing a complete view of each customer. This made efficient handling of ongoing enquiries and complaints more problematic than it needed to be.”

In addition, SWW required a flexible solution to cost effectively handle digital communications via the web, e-mail and text messages, in addition to more traditional forms of communication, such as phone calls and letters.

Although 90 percent of customers either still call or write in, SWW says it expects more digital contacts in the future.

SWW has installed an in-house 750 seat Microsoft Dynamics solution, which is now used on a daily basis by 600-plus internal staff and contractors. The system records all incoming and outgoing customer communications, and is integrated with SWW's Work Management system, to allocate work requests and receive feedback in real-time.

Dynamics also ensures customer promises are kept. Hart said: “Case manager’s must respond to customer contacts within a specified period. If the case manager has not responded in a timely manner, Dynamics will automatically alert relevant staff to ensure SWW does not fail on promises made to customers."

Dynamics CRM enables real-time visibility of all customer contacts and outstanding work, at both summary and detailed levels. It enables operational managers to proactively manage contact volumes and incoming work. Senior managers are also embracing CRM views and dashboards by actively monitoring performance on a daily basis, where previously they relied on historical reports.

In 2010, SWW was dragged over the coals by industry regulator Ofwat over its handling of email correspondence.

SWW was required to improve its systems and training after weaknesses resulted in the company misreporting written email complaints and appointment data. “While the necessary technology was in place, we identified that our processes needed to be more robust,” SWW said at the time.

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