Yorkshire Water recently undertook a project to improve its services for more than five million customers as part of its digital transformation.
Working in partnership with Leeds-headquartered strategic communications agency CDS, Yorkshire Water’s digital platform has already reduced the number of people getting in touch with the company about their bills by 20 per cent, by making it easier for customers to pay bills, update their addresses, and access financial support online.
CDS’s nine-month overhaul of Yorkshire Water’s digital footprint included futureproofing its website by rebuilding it. The latest version of the content management system adds flexibility and enables Yorkshire Water to deliver a better user experience.
The project reflects Yorkshire Water’s commitment to providing more efficient, customer-focused and inclusive services.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for customers to get the help and support they need from us,” said Andrew Bush, digital communications manager and product owner at Yorkshire Water.
“These changes have helped do that as we’ve seen a substantial reduction in customers contacting us about their bills in the first three months since launching the new website,” added Andrew.
“Crucially, we also have a wealth of new digital data that will help us continue to make customer experiences better and further reduce the need for them to get in touch.
“More importantly, Yorkshire Water has a detailed playbook that includes ten accessible and inclusive communication and design principles that we can use to underpin improvements to our digital services for years to come – this sets us up to really enhance the experience customers have with us.”
The project exemplifies client and agency collaboration – with the hybrid team comprising of 14 specialists from CDS and eight in-house experts. The website build was centred around shifting Yorkshire Water away from a legacy system – that restricted its ability to give customers a better digital customer experience – and towards a solution which worked for each one the firm’s unique customer personas, user patterns, habits, and behaviours.
The new website is now a platform for growth and development and is a game-changing enabler for Yorkshire Water’s future.
“Serving millions of customers from diverse communities, Yorkshire Water needed a partner that could help improve the delivery of online services, designing a new, genuinely customer-centric digital platform that would reduce the number of inbound calls and ensure customer communications were as inclusive and accessible as possible,” said Clare Gledhill, operations director at CDS.
“Our service design recommendations provided valuable insights into Yorkshire Water’s customers which were validated using a mix of primary user research, persona development, user journey mapping, pattern analysis, and experience prototyping.
“The research underpinned the content strategy and wireframes created by our user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) designers. We undertook a joint approach to development, testing, planning, and prioritising which ensured the new website went live on time and with more functionality than originally planned.”
Andrew Bush added: “During development, accessibility and inclusive design were always a focus. CDS’ knowledge allowed us to make countless small, important decisions and adjustments, with each widening the pool of customers who can use the website without any issue. The team has a great depth of talent, allowing us to deliver a lot in a relatively short period of time. They worked hard, smart, and they made it easy to be confident in the project’s success.”
CDS has a proven track record of delivering transformation projects for other major, public-facing organisations. Clients include the NHS, Bank of England, Cabinet Office, Transport for London, and large private sector companies such as Insight Investments.