We live in a period when water companies are investing an unprecedented amount of time, effort and money into researching the views of their customers to help shape their immediate and future plans. That was particularly evident during the 2019 Price Review but what’s less clear is just how meaningful the sector’s research is to the consumers that take part.

During the autumn of 2019, we commissioned Blue Marble to carry out a study exploring what customers feel is most important for water companies to ask their views on, and how to do this research in a meaningful way for business as usual activities and companies’ five-year business plans.

What consumers told us

A series of recommendations have emerged from the report to help improve the value and meaning of consumer research, including:

  • Better tailoring of materials and methods to improve the appeal, comprehension and the effectiveness of surveys and stimulus materials
  • Providing a greater emphasis on describing the context and relevance of every research exercise to respondents
  • Rebalancing the use of Business as Usual research to inform business plans – especially for hard-to-reach consumer segments
  • Placing greater emphasis on ‘informed’ research for business planning
  • Making greater use of ‘expert consumers’

We will share the findings of the report with the water industry and use it to help inform its review of the 2019 Price Review and how the process can be strengthened ahead of the next five-year price-setting process.

For more information on the report email [email protected]

Download Engaging water customers for better consumer and business outcomes (pdf – 2 MB)