West Midlands community hub scoops Customer Satisfaction Innovation award

Walsall-based South Staffs Water and its partner, utilities customer contact outsourcer, Echo Managed Services, have claimed the Customer Satisfaction Innovation Award at this year’s Institute of Customer Services UK customer satisfaction awards.

The accolade was awarded to the water company and its partner for their innovative community initiative – The South Staffs Water Community Hub, an accessible space, opened on Wednesbury high street in Staffordshire.

The hub was recently awarded the Community Initiative of the Year prize at the Utility Week awards, in December, and also won a Celebrate Sandwell Community Award last June.

The walk-in centre, which recently welcomed its 10,000th visitor, was designed to create a trusted, friendly and accessible location for South Staffs Water’s customers to interact with the company and other local organisations and charities face-to-face.

South Staffs Water had noted a growing shortage of easily accessible community services, and decided to open the space to support one of its most socially deprived areas.

The hub is the first of its kind in the water sector, and provides a space that creates genuine social value for the local community. It not only offers water bill support but creates a much-needed community space to bring local organisations together to offer rounded support to local people.

The UK Customer Satisfaction Awards recognise organisations and individuals across the UK that have implemented successful customer service strategies over the past 12 months. The awards are judged by industry experts, business leaders and academics from a series of business industries.

Rachael Merrell, head of retail customer services at South Staffs Water, said: “It’s great to have won another award for our fantastic community hub. It was originally set up as an accessible and informal way for local people to talk to us, and to find out more about their water face-to-face. However, since it was opened it has developed into so much more. We’re thrilled to be recognised for the work we have done with the hub, but the real satisfaction comes from enabling local people and community groups access to a space that benefits them and that they can use every day.”

Monica Mackintosh, managing director at Echo Managed Services, commented: “We have enjoyed working on this initiative with South Staffs Water, which has made a genuine and long-lasting impact on the local community, and the customers it serves. Welcoming its 10,000th visitor and winning another prestigious award is testament to the hard work that has gone into delivering and sustaining the community hub since it was opened.”

About Echo Managed Services

Echo Managed Services is a specialist outsourced provider of complex multi-channel customer contact services, comprehensive debt recovery solutions, revenue protection services and the developer of the multi-utility, Salesforce-native billing software, Aptumo. Echo combines best practice technology and processes with highly skilled and knowledgeable people to provide public and private sector organisations with end-to-end customer contact capabilities.

For more information, visit www.echo-ms.com