Vitens has for many years focused on giving its customers peace of mind by providing them with water of impeccable quality. Under the heading of ‘customer excellence’, the company recently announced its wish to take a further step towards placing customers at the centre by, for instance, also actively listening to their desires and needs.
The objective of this project was to explore how Vitens could best connect to the subjective perception and experience of its customers. The asset management process and the organisation of the infrastructure received special attention – from the design, construction, management, to maintenance. from source to tap – because it is in these areas that the opportunities lie to further elaborate customer excellence.
Q methodology, surveys, interviews and willingness-to-pay
Using methodological triangulation and a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods (Q methodology), the research, among other things, delineated four different household customer profiles, as well as the desires and needs of business and vulnerable customers. Using a lengthy online quantitative questionnaire, an analysis was conducted on how representative the perspectives encountered were of the customers in the Vitens supply area. The willingness-to-pay of the full range of customers was also examined.
Guidelines for the Long-Term Vision and the asset management process infrastructure
This research provides Vitens with the guidelines to help shape its new Long-Term Vision (LTV), such as a clear definition of four profiles of household customers, and a clarified image of the perceptions and experience of business and vulnerable customers, including their desires, needs and willingness-to-pay. Moreover, these new insights point to how the company can organise its (future) infrastructure of the asset management process, in such a way that the customer and customer satisfaction are explicitly taken into consideration.