Customer Perspectives 2.0

In the Joint Research Programme (BTO) Customer theme group, four customer perspectives were developed which provide insight into the diversity of drinking water customers, with their different expectations, desires, concerns and needs. In 2018, the distribution and proportions of these perspectives was quantified for the Netherlands and Flanders. The present Exploratory Research Incubator project is re-examining these four customer perspectives. It will assess the explanatory power of the customer perspectives, how their practical implementability can be improved, and what future possibilities they offer to the drinking water utilities.

Critical reflection

The earlier formulated customer perspectives are being critically assessed on the basis of the following three questions:

  • What is the value and explanatory power of customer perspectives as a scientific tool?
  • What is their practical implementability for the drinking water utilities?
  • What are the possibilities of making the customer perspectives future-proof?

Scientific tool, practical implementability and future-proofness

We are examining the value and explanatory power of customer perspectives as a scientific tool through an analysis of internal projects that made use of customer perspectives. In parallel, the project involves qualitative interviews with the drinking water utilities, as a means of evaluating the practical implementability of the customer perspectives. We are exploring which tools are currently used for customer segmentation, and how the customer perspectives fit in with these.


On the basis of the findings a recommendation will be produced for the purpose of making customer perspectives future-proof. The recommendation will provide insight into the needs of the drinking water utilities and on the possibilities that exist to meet them. It will for instance be made clear whether the customer perspectives have become outdated, and how this might be corrected; or whether there is a need to link individual characteristics to customer perspectives, and how this might be further explored.