Innovation Festival to take customer experience to unrivalled levels

What does world class customer service look like to you?

Is it a friendly human-being to speak to? Fast, quick and intuitive websites and apps? Or, is it a brand that engages you in a personalised way?

Whether it's digital or face-to-face - providing positive customer experiences is vital for every business.

Most surveys and research points to the giants like Amazon, Waitrose, John Lewis as being renowned world leaders when it comes to giving customers what they want.

But does the size of your company impact on the customer service you can give? Is it more about how you create memorable moments for your customers?  Or, is it something else that companies don't always realise?

This summer, Northumbrian Water wants to find out how it can take its customer experiences to the next level.

Working with Connect Managed Services (Connect) at its Innovation Festival, the water company's ‘Unrivalled Customer Experience - just add water' sprint will look at what businesses of all sizes, and across all sectors, can do to set the gold standard for putting customers first.

Over five-days, industry-experts and innovators will explore how technology, innovation, brand and communication can help companies improve the services they offer their customers.

Northumbrian Water's Dawn Creighton, Head of Customer Strategy and Experience, said: "The water industry is moving to a new way of measuring customer satisfaction and experience. It's more important than ever that we are at the leading edge of understanding wider trends in customer behaviour and expectations.

"Our customers' expectations are rising, and what customers want from us is changing too; they compare us to other big named brands, not to other water companies. Advances in technology are increasing the ability for customers to have their needs met how, when and where they want and we must adapt to that to deliver world-class customer experiences that are positive and memorable.

"We want to be up there with some of the top performing brands in the world, showing each customer they are special and making their life easier with personalised, fast and simple services. The Innovation Festival is an exciting opportunity to work with our partners, practitioners from other businesses and customers from across our region, to explore how we can consistently go above and beyond for our customers and deliver an unrivalled experience."

Connect Managed Services' Martin Cross, CTO, said: "Good customer experience isn't just nice to have, it is central to the success of a business and offers a key competitive advantage.

"Even established high street names are going under because they can't engage with their customers digitally or deliver great customer experience. It is those companies that have embraced customer experience and digital who are growing at a phenomenal rate.

"Depending on which study you believe, and what industry you're in, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. It's why businesses need to turn their customers into advocates, which means treating them as an individual, personalising their experience and solving their problem first time.

"We are excited to be supporting the Innovation Festival and look forward to exploring the art of the possible with those in attendance."

The Northumbrian Water Innovation Festival 2019 takes place at Newcastle Racecourse between 8 to 12 July.

More than 3,000 people from around the world, including industry experts, engineers, students and customers, are expected at the festival, where they will search for solutions to major societal and environmental challenges.

To find out more about the Innovation Festival and what the ‘Unrivalled Customer Service - just add water’ team comes up with during the Festival, you can follow the action on social media at @NorthumbrianH2O on Twitter and Facebook, or by visiting www.innovationfestival.org.

Janine RillandsComment