Explain research agency wins SES Water customer research contract

National research agency Explain, who specialise in research and engagement to support regulatory business planning, has been awarded the contract to build SES Water’s voice of the customer research programme.

SES Water, a water supply company supplying clean water every day to over 700,000 people in parts of Surrey, Kent and south London has committed to a voice of the customer research programme to help in the successful deliveryof their Business Plan for 2020 to 2025.

The research programme will support and underpin SES Water’s engagement with their customers, the overarching aim being to maximise the value of insight collected across the business to drive informed actions and improvements as they move towards PR24.

Explain, a full-service market research agency, are industry leading in the work they undertake in the utility sector and have been delivering substantial research and engagement projects in the water sector for over 20 years. Throughout this period, they have designed and delivered mixed methodology, innovative research which has underpinned water companies’ business plans.


Rebecca Crinson, Research Director, said: “Our experience and expertise of delivering complex research programmes in the utility sector has been crafted over a number of years. We pride ourselves on collaborating with our clients, which enables us to really understand their aims and objectives, in turn maximising the research programme to ensure it is best in class.”

Working in partnership with SES Water, Explain will design and deliver a mixed methodology approach involving quantitative and qualitative solutions alongside an online community. The research will cover a range of topics and will meaningfully engage domestic customers, non-household customers, future customers, vulnerable customers, and wider stakeholders including developers. The insight, alongside ensuring that existing data is utilised to its maximum, will be embedded within SES Water to drive change and track impact with the aim of delighting customers.

Catherine Holland, Head of Communications at SES Water; said: “Our current Business Plan has been developed in partnership with our customers, based on the most extensive engagement programme the Company has ever undertaken but we were very clear in the plan that our activity does not stop in between price reviews. We must continue to invest in listening to our customers to ensure we use what they tell us to improve the service we provide and respond to their needs. We are looking forward to working with Explain again to build a continual and evolving programme that ultimately makes a direct and significant difference to what we do and how we do it.”

SES Water went out to tender nationally to engage a market research agency with previous experience of delivering voice of the customer research in the utility sector, and after a thorough tendering process Explain were appointed in April this year.

Rebecca said: “We are delighted to have won the contract to support SES Water, having worked with the company to support their research and engagement aligned to PR19 and we are really looking forward to building on our relationship. We work in partnership with our clients and see ourselves as an extension of their own teams, and we are looking forward to delivering robust and innovative research.”