Two years on...

Date: Friday 28th September 
Author: Lissa Balmer

Two years ago today I started a job working as part of the project team at NWG looking at Customer Acquisition and Retention as the company set out to put together it’s retail strategy for the English business water market. 

Little did I know the journey I was about to take, the skills I would develop, the opportunities which would come along and the fun I’d have too! 

I’m delighted to say in the last two years I’ve worked with some absolutely brilliant people, made some life long (I hope) friends and learned that there’s so much more to setting up a successful business than just it’s processes and procedures, it’s all about the people.

Whilst I’m not for one minute suggesting you don’t need the policies, processes and procedures, you need to blend them with a mix of people with differing skill sets and capabilities that complement each other, and that is not just down to skill it also takes some luck!

What else have I learned along the way? Well it’s really important to have true partners, suppliers who understand the vision and the journey you have for your customers and can help you to achieve it. 

From our customer experience platform partner, PC One (now Connect), to Gentrack who provide our billing system, our web partners Access, to Kameleon who supported us with the brand and last but not least Market Gravity who helped with our customer insight and propositions in the early days, I can honestly say we’ve got that.

I’m really proud of our website, and the way our customers can contact us on their channel of choice, but I’m most proud of the team, who never fail to impress me on a daily basis with their innovation and drive to do what’s best for our customers. 

So, if I had a time machine and could go back and give myself some advice on my first day what would I say?

  1. Be bold and brave - Don’t be afraid to challenge and test
  2. Don’t do things just because it’s always been done that way
  3. Make sure you take the time to recruit the right people get to know them, remember to thank and appreciate them and invest in them (not just money time too!)
  4. Accept you won’t always have it right and then be prepared to work at it to make it better!
  5. Customer is King! Design your systems and processes with the customer in mind. Get their thoughts and feedback wherever possible

We’re a young business in a new market, we’re learning and evolving and will become better. As we move forward and look to the future with our joint venture with Anglian Water Business, transitioning to Wave, I know as long as we keep the customer at the centre of everything we do we can’t go far wrong.