As the season of renewal and new beginnings, spring has been eagerly awaited by many. For Scottish Water’s Contact Centre and Scheduling Team Manager, Emma Hoare, this sentiment rings particularly true. In an exclusive interview, Emma shared with us the exceptional customer service strategy that Scottish Water prides itself on and how it was put to the ultimate test in December 2022 when a temperature drop caused frozen pipes and a subsequent rise in temperature led to burst pipes. This left thousands without water, resulting in increased contact volumes which Scottish Water promptly responded to.
Scottish Water provides over 1.5 billion litres of drinking water and takes away around 1.1 billion litres of wastewater every day. They look after Scotland’s most precious natural resource. From source to tap, they’re trusted to keep their customers supplied with first-class water and care for the environment every minute of every day.
In December 2022, Scottish Water’s contact centre strategy was put to the test as thousands of residents contacted Scottish Water’s contact centre after a temperature drop caused frozen pipes and a subsequent rise in temperature led to burst pipes. The Scottish Water team came together like no other as over 200 volunteers from across the business were set up on Puzzel Contact Centre to respond to inbound enquiries related to the incident.
“With Puzzel, we have full control over our contact centre. Puzzel enabled us to remain agile and calm during a stressful, peak traffic time. Thanks to Puzzel’s cloud-native application, we were able to set up and train other Scottish Water employees on the same day. We could set up new users ourselves without having to contact the Puzzel team,” comments Emma Hoare, Contact Centre and Scheduling Team Manager.
More than 70 repair teams across Scotland were mobilised to respond to incidents, putting repairs in place and trying to reduce the impact on customers who have lost water supply at their taps. Over 30 road tankers were deployed to keep customers in supply, as well as bottled water to other customers, including those on our Priority Services Register.
Streamlined self-service experiences
As well as bringing in volunteers, Scottish Water were able to create easy self-service journeys that empowered their customers to help themselves. Scottish Water’s Interactive Voice Response (IVR) journeys helped customers report frozen pipes, no water or report a leak over the phone.
“Puzzel’s IVR was really helpful in this exercise as the volunteers were only trained on certain enquiries, so we needed to make sure calls were routed correctly,” comments Emma.
Scottish Water’s online knowledgebase helped reduce demand too. Scottish Water’s website allowed customers to report leaks as well as get further winter advice on protecting pipes and their property.
A leader in accessibility
Scottish Water’s commitment to accessibility ensures that their customer support is clear and simple and caters to diverse needs. The Puzzel Customer Service Platform enabled effective communication with vulnerable customers, and the Priority Services Register provided additional support to those with extra needs.
During times of high call volumes, agents can experience significant stress. However, Scottish Water strives to support their agents through training and resources to manage challenging customer situations.
“We provide all our Agents with training and resources to handle challenging customer situations. We offer regular feedback and provide recognition for their performance. This really helps as we encourage open communication and collaboration among team members.”
“Tools such as Puzzel WFM also help us prioritise Agent well-being and work-life balance. We can ensure our teams are always efficiently and effectively staffed despite our contact centre being 24 hours and seven days a week,” adds Emma.
Puzzel, the perfect partner
Scottish Water was able to rest easy knowing the Puzzel platform is tried, tested and robust enough to handle the highest levels of customer traffic and privacy and data security standards. The Puzzel platform provided all the tools they needed to manage customer enquiries and reassure customers efficiently and with empathy.
With over 20 years of experience designing customised customer service solutions for energy and utility providers across the UK and Nordics, Puzzel understood Scottish Water’s unique challenges and helped them deliver effortless customer service and support even during moments of increased demand.