An Australian water utility has been named the customer service organisation of the year in the government and not-for-profit category at the Australian Service Excellence Awards.

Yarra Valley Water provides essential services to two million people across Melbourne, and the win reflects significant increases in customer satisfaction.

Yarra Valley Water Managing Director, Pat McCafferty, said that receiving the award was a great honour, and reflected the hard work and passion that the Yarra Valley Water customer care team channels into their work every day.

“The wellbeing of our customers goes to the heart of our business which is why this award is a great honour for our diligent, front line staff who work tirelessly to provide a positive customer experience,” Mr McCafferty said.

“These staff members deal with a number of complex and unpredictable situations every day and do a wonderful job of ensuring that when a customer contacts us they leave with the answers they need and that the experience is as easy as possible.”

In 2019, Yarra Valley Water’s customer service teams received training to help them assist customers who may be affected by family violence.

Internal customer support systems were also upgraded to better respond to family violence risks.

This included the addition of practical measures such as safety flags which help to identify and provide assistance to customers who may be at risk of family violence.

Mr McCafferty said that family violence and financial abuse is a very real problem that faces utility customers.

“We saw a real need to ensure our staff, particularly those working in customer service, are well-equipped to support customers who may be at risk by recognising the signs of family violence and being able to deal with these situations effectively,” Mr McCafferty said.

“We look forward to building on this work so that we can continue to stand out in our customer’s eyes as a great organisation to deal with.”

Siobhan Day is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and Pump Industry magazine, and has been part of the team since early 2019. With a background in management in the non-profit sector, Siobhan has extensive experience in communications, professional writing and client management. She holds a Bachelor of Business and Communications and is currently completing a postgraduate degree.

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