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Information is the key to improving water conservation habits

From the Knowledge Centre

As we begin to welcome a new wave of Generation Z customers, all age groups need more information about water conservation, says leading water industry service partner.

Following recent calls from the Consumer Council for Water (CCW) for water companies to do more to help customers save water, and as water companies welcome younger customers, a leading water industry expert has highlighted the opportunity for them to improve their water conservation communications with all demographics. To reach their new wave of customers, which includes first time renters, buyers and bill payers, water companies are already beginning to explore better digital communications to encourage sustainable water usage, a topic which is becoming increasingly pressing in light of COP26.

Monica Mackintosh, managing director at Echo Managed Services, said: “There is a need for improved customer conversations within the water sector to raise awareness of water conservation while still meeting customer expectations. The new research from CWW suggests that 41% of those in “water-stressed” areas think water is actually plentiful where they live. The lack of awareness amongst customers in water-stressed areas suggests a gap between customers and water providers which needs to be further bridged to encourage customers to be more aware of their water usage”.

“COP26 encouraged the industry to focus on the sustainability of its practices. We need to work together to better educate customers on the environmental impact of their actions, and how they can work with water companies to protect their supply”.

“The need for continued new approaches to communication is highlighted in our recent consumer research report ‘A New Wave of Customers’. The report focuses on Generation Z water customers who are the latest cohort of homeowners and renters responsible for usage and bill-paying. As the digital gap is closing, communicating with customers online is the best method to reach across different age ranges. When surveyed, 65% of Gen Z bill players preferred to manage everything online, with 61% of people aged 25 and over agreeing. This highlights that water providers need to ensure that their digital channels provide customers with what they want, and need, in terms of both customer service and information. By using digital platforms such as apps, which 36% of Gen Z expressed as their preference, water providers can communicate with their customers about everything from billing to tips on water conservation to raising awareness of water shortages”.

“It’s also important to note that although people value social media as a source of information, when interviewed 63% of those aged 25 and over were unlikely to follow their water company on those platforms. Evidently, water companies need to do more work to build relevancy and interest within the communities they serve. Developing an innovative social media strategy is a great tool to reach younger customers who are socially active, but it’s not the only solution. A deeper understanding of Gen Z can help water companies be more innovative with their messaging to help spread key information to new consumers and future generations”.

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