From humble beginnings sorting books in a Seattle garage to running one of the biggest companies in the world, Jeff Bezos has learned a thing or two about how to catalyse innovation. Indeed, Amazon’s demonstrated ability to disrupt diverse product verticals (spanning across books, electronics, cloud services, and video) speaks volumes about the breadth and depth of this embodied knowledge. But when Bezos himself speaks, he invariably attributes Amazon’s success to one thing: a relentless focus on customer experience. “The most important single thing”, says Bezos, “is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be earth’s most customer-centric company”.[1]

From UKWIR’S Big Questions to the UK 2050 Water Innovation Strategy, several sector-wide initiatives have recently issued similar calls for increased customer-centricity across the sector. At the core of such programmes is a Bezos-esque inquiry: how might the water sector better understand and deliver upon customer expectations?

To get closer to answering this question, today Spring is excited to announce the mobilisation of our newest digital community, ‘Providing the Services Society Needs, Expects and Values’. This Spring community will facilitate customer engagement, drive innovation and catalyse new partnership opportunities by putting customers at the heart of sector conversations. It is co-led by three experts with deep experience driving improved customer outcomes across household and non-household markets:

  • Hannah Bradley – Head of Evidence and Insights at Consumer Council for Water;
  • John Davies – Chief Information Officer at Market Operator Services Limited; and
  • Vittoria Danino – Head of Anglian Water Centre for Water Studies at University of East Anglia.

When we asked our Co-Leads about their vision for this new community, they each agreed that the sector needs to better understand customer pains and gains. Vittoria Danino of Anglian Water said “We need to first define what customers need, expect and value before we define how we best deliver on these societal expectations”. In agreement, Hannah Bradley added “We should also understand what drives customer trust and confidence and what can be done within the sector to improve it”.

Identifying the customer’s knowledge gaps will be key to reducing the number of unknowns and meaningfully engaging with customers”, said John Davies.

The outcomes that this Community hopes to achieve in the short, medium and long term are as follows:

“Spring and this community can help bridge current gaps by bringing in like-minded individuals from other sectors who can share their learnings on vulnerability interventions”, said Vittoria Danino.

Reflecting on the community’s applicability to tech enthusiasts, Hannah Bradley remarked “this community will be a great space to learn more and exchange insights on the role of data in enabling cross-sector partnerships benefiting customers”, which John Davies followed with “… or the introduction of gamified approaches for water conservation through comparative analytics”.

You can part of the customer-led water revolution by joining this Spring community here!