Affinity Water

Our training solution helped Affinity Water embark on a transformation of their customer experience to support their vision to be the UK’s leading water company

The Requirement

Affinity Water were embarking on a transformation of their customer experience to support their vision to be the UK’s leading community-focused water company. The programme was being driven by a customer centric agenda and was being encouraged by the industry regulator. As part of this transformation, Affinity Water came to us for assistance in driving this programme in 3 key parts. First was to design and deliver a train the trainer, Service Delivery programme, to the external businesses who work on behalf of Affinity Water. This was to ensure that a consistent level of service is being provided out in the field. Second was to design and deliver a Complaint Handling programme to the Directors’ Office team to support the reduction in number of Stage 2 Complaints. And finally, to design and deliver an internal Train the Trainer programme to maximise the internal resource of the training team. This was with a view to support the wider development of the customer facing team with a new internal series of delivering customer excellence programmes.

The Solution

Across the 3 initiatives, a blend of Training Needs Analysis, Focus Groups and meetings were held, in addition to listening to calls and reviewing correspondence sent to the customer to identify where opportunities were taken or missed. Analysis of Customer Charters and existing systems and procedures also provided key information. From the analysis the 3 projects were created.
The Service Delivery programme involved developing a 2.5 hour interactive training session which would be delivered by trainers within the external businesses, to their teams out in the field. The session was designed to be delivered in a variety of settings to reflect the availability and needs of the field teams.
The Complaints Handling programme was developed into a 1 day interactive session involving critiquing both calls and written correspondence. Finally, the Train the Train programme was designed to be a 3 day programme covering the whole process of course design through to the practical delivery of 2 pieces of training on day 3.

  • Being confident and positive that the customer is the number one priority and that effective communication is delivered in every interaction whether in writing, on the telephone or face to face.
  • Recognising customer types and identifying what is important to them.
  • For the Train the Trainer programme, to equip trainers to design and deliver soft skills training within Affinity Water.
  • Conversational skills –listening, rapport, questioning and positive language, for both telephone calls and face to face interactions.

Two half day train the trainers sessions were scheduled to brief the trainers from the Affinity Water partner organisations on the Service Delivery programme. They experienced the various activities (including a magic trick!), discussions and videos that they would subsequently be delivering to the field teams.
Two full day sessions were provided to deliver the Complaints Handling programme. Finally, a 3 day event was scheduled for the 7 internal trainers identified within the business, for the Train the Trainer programme.
The training programmes were delivered by the experienced and engaging Sandra Ellington from Ember Real Results and encouraged constant participation, activity and involvement from the groups. There was no opportunity to go under the radar!
Sandra says “We always look to provide a blend to our learning to ensure there is something for everyone. The learning is designed to be interactive and to allow for discussion and the sharing of experiences, to aid engagement and retention of content. Our ethos is to ensure that the content is ‘real’ and that the learning can be taken straight back into the workplace for instant application and ‘results’.”

The Result

Affinity Water will be able to assess the impact of the programmes in a number of areas using both internal and external metrics e.g. direct customer feedback and industry regulator statistics and league table positioning as two examples.
The scores for this course range from 90% to 100% and therefore indicate high levels of satisfaction across all measures.
Following any training programme it is vital that learning is revisited and reinforced. Ember Real Results has a platform known as ‘ERROL’ (Ember Real Results Online Learning) that provides knowledge assessments before and after training programmes. This enables improvements to be tracked and for learning to be reinforced on a daily basis.
All trainees can receive a daily email that contains a multiple-choice question associated with the training programme and this assists them with retaining and using what they learned long after the training is finished.
We are delighted to have been asked to support Affinity Water with additional projects in other areas of the business following the project detailed in this case study.
We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with Affinity Water.

"Course was great – gave me lots of ideas for future training"

"Really helped me to learn where I can use new skills"

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