Voice of the Customer

Despite Generation Z’s (Gen Z) widely documented interest in environmental issues and eco-conscious lifestyle, affordability is still this group’s number one concern when it comes to their water and sewerage services, according to a new report.

 Research commissioned by Echo Managed Services, and published in its Generation Z Report: A new wave of customers for water companies, found that the Gen Z demographic actually prioritises affordability more than older groups.

 Research into the key concerns of UK residents found that keeping water bills affordable for customers, was the top priority for all age groups, but especially this new generation. It was the prime concern for 54.12% of Gen Z current bill payers and 60.61% of Gen Z future bill payers, compared to 53.85% of those aged 25+.

 However, water companies should also be paying attention to raising awareness of their environmental credentials to this new generation. Gen Z’s environmental concerns remained evident when their second and third placed priorities were considered. For Gen Z bill payers, promoting water conservation and offering water-saving advice and devices is the second most important issue, cited by 35.29% of respondents. This is followed by investment in water pipes in order to prevent leaks and wastage, cited by 32.94%.

 Providing a good level of customer service was also high on the priority list for bill paying Gen Zs, with almost a third (29.41%) agreeing it was of high importance. Gen Z bill payers and those aged 25 and over also both prioritised helping households to reduce the amount of water they used, as a resource essential to life – this was selected by 22.35% of Gen Z bill payers and 25.73% of those aged 25 and over.

 Vicki Dixon, head of operations at Echo Managed Services, commented: “We wanted to gauge the attitudes of the newest generation who have started to become billpayers, and will do so in greater numbers in the coming years. It is well documented in the press that they are highly motivated by environmental issues, although there has been limited research in to how this translates into what they expect from their essential services providers. What we do know is that customer satisfaction amongst Gen Z is on the whole lower than that of other age groups. We hope this research will provide some interesting insights for the water sector as it looks to improve this group’s customer satisfaction.

 “Positively, Gen Z appears more willing than previous generations to play its part in water efficiency, wanting their water companies to support them in doing this through better promotion of water conservation and better provision of water saving devices and advice.

 “As the Gen Z population become renters or home owners for the first time, there is a key

opportunity for water companies to create and build a positive relationship with their new customers for the future. A deep understanding of Gen Z’s views of water and the water sector can help companies to best shape their initial contact and the service and contacts that follow.”

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