Scottish Water needs to communicate and engage effectively with customers, and the website is an essential tool for delivering service information and up to date reports on incidents.
By effectively delivering the right information to the right people through the website Scottish Water can manage the impacts of incidents and reduce calls to their Customer Helpline. Following recent heavy winters it became essential for Scottish Water to modernise its website to make it easier and faster for the public to access important information about their water supply and explain to customers how to safeguard their pipes during very cold temperatures. Another important element was to make the site more accessible for disabled people with features such as magnification for the visually impaired. Scottish Water is a publicly owned company answerable to the Scottish Parliament and the people of Scotland, and is the sole provider of water services to 5 million customers in 2.4 million Scottish households – providing 1.3 billion litres of water and taking away 840 million litres of waste every day.
With the existing Scottish Water website, content needed to be updated centrally by the Communications team, with the new site, content can now be updated much more quickly and easily. This is important for incidents when regular updates can be managed by Customer Helpline staff. Scottish Water can now engage with users to deliver relevant information quickly and clearly on the website using personalisation, with different content for business and home users, and is able to deliver more relevant and accurate information by email; this can help direct traffic away from the Customer Helpline.
Scottish Water was using an existing in-house developed CMS which did not deliver the same efficiencies as an ‘off-the-shelf’ solution and Eduserv recommended that Sitecore was a more cost effective solution than an alternative Oracle solution being considered. Sitecore was a financially viable option that delivered flexibility to integrate with different systems, such as the billing system and databases, to present a lot of data in a simple format. Sitecore can easily be updated by staff across the organisation and the user interface is very intuitive. The site makes use of Sitecore’s Digital Marketing System and Email Campaign Manager modules and this was a big appeal of Sitecore for Scottish Water, allowing it to use a single system to improve marketing and communications, delivering personalised content via the web, email newsletters and campaigns.
Internal management has also improved, with flexibility to set content expiry notifications and workflows allowing different permissions for different user roles. Notifications of change or publishing requests can automatically be sent to multiple email addresses to ensure quick but resilient workflow.
Scottish Water’s use of the DMS and ECM modules has been ground-breaking in helping Scottish Water utilise digital communication channels and engage with customers. Marketing for the organisation can now be smarter and more targeted to help improve its impact and value.
The SagePay online payment system integrated with Sitecore is also new for Scottish Water, moving them in-line with commercial providers and meeting the demands of digital audiences; whilst at the same time transforming internal administration of payments.
The ‘Am I affected?’ function now allows people to see the impact of incidents and work in their area based on their postcode. This easy-to-find specific information has proved a great resource for businesses and homes and is reducing the number of calls to the call centre.
Scottish Water and Eduserv report that traffic to the website has increased following the re-launch of the website and is complemented by a reduction in calls to the Customer Helpline and quicker management of calls. The site is also easier for staff to manage and provide timely updates.