Barwon Water’s Customer Experience Program

Client: Barwon Water

Barwon Water is Victoria’s largest regional urban water corporation. They have a proud history of supporting regional prosperity by providing excellence in water, sewerage, and recycled water services to their customers and community for more than 110 years.


To deliver on Barwon Waters Strategy 2030 vision of enabling regional prosperity, there was a need to increase trust and the social license through engagement with the local community, supplying services that continue to meet customers’ growing needs and expectations.  


A customer experience (CX) vision and customer experience commitments were created by engaging and listening to customers. While this provided the foundational insights for the program, there was an added need to design and deliver on the initiatives that enabled the program, delivering and aligning to the vision and commitments.  

A set of initiatives were created to enable improved customer experience across people, process and technology-related initiatives. These included:

  • Voice of Customer program: A continually expanding program, turning customer feedback into insights to inform continuous improvement.
  • CX capability uplift: Focused on building the right mindset and skillset so employees were positioned to deliver on their part of the customer experience. This included coaching employees to solve problems with the customer in mind.
  • Multi-channel approach: Channels where customers can connect were extended, including a range of online service options. 
  • Customer Support (financial): Using customer insights and analytics to understand financial vulnerability, proactive contact from these insights was introduced to offer support directly to customers. 
  • CX Reporting & Measurement: Customer measures and insights to understand performance were expanded, linking in with the Balanced Score Card and other regulated performance measures. 


  • In May 2021, Barwon Water’s CX program won the Australian Water Association’s inaugural Customer Experience Award at the prestigious Oz Water ’21 Awards.
  • Barwon Water’s CX program was announced as a finalist in the National Ashton Media CX Awards in September 2021
  • Across all 16 Victorian Water Authorities, Barwon Water regularly ranked number one for Reputation, Trust, Value for Money, and Overall Satisfaction in 2021, 2022 and 2023. 
  • The CX program improved the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to an outstanding 73.
  • Referrals from the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria decreased by 38% (2021/2022) and 28% (2020/2021), showcasing enhanced customer satisfaction and problem-solving skills.
  • Aged tariff debt decreased from $5.7M to $5.5M (2020/21 to 2021/22) without formal debt collection, enabled by proactive customer support.
  • Achieved top position in call quality benchmarking in Victoria and across all 16 Water Authorities, as reported by Customer Service Benchmarking Australia in 2020, 2021, and 2022, and confirmed by the Essential Services Commission in 2020/21 and 2021/22.
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