Customer Advisory Panel

 

Customer Advisory Panel - Community Report

On Wednesday 27 March 2019 members of CHW’s Customer Advisory Panel (CAP) came together for its inaugural meeting. 

The CAP is guided by a Charter. Its role is to represent the views and interests of the Central Highlands Water customers and community, providing feedback on current and future needs for water and wastewater services.

 

1. INTRODUCING THE PANEL

Panel membership is diverse and reflects the changing nature of our customers and the community. The Panel includes representatives from across the region, from key special interest groups and community members.

Panel Member

Representation

Craig Wilding

Ballarat Health Services

Allan Joy

Children & Family Services (CAFS)

Neville Ivy

City of Ballarat

Jodie Gillett

Commerce Ballarat

Melanie Robertson

Committee for Ballarat

Craig Hurley

Federation University Australia

Bruce Lucas

Hepburn Shire Council

Danny Colgan

Moorabool Shire Council

Kathy Bramwell

Pyrenees Shire Council

Anthony Schinck

Regional Development Victoria

Paul Davis

Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation

Greg Andrews

Community representative

John Clark

Community representative

Bernadette Cheesman

Community representative

Anita Koelle

WRISC Family Violence Support

Heather Fagg

Leigh Catchment Group

Jacqueline O’Neill (Chair)

Central Highlands Water



2. FOCUS FOR 1st MEETING

The focus for the inaugural meeting was to introduce the Panel members to each other, provide the Panel with an overview of Central Highlands Water current activities and challenges and seek initial feedback on a digital pilot program connecting customers to real time information on water use.

The Panel spent time hearing from CHW regarding:

  • CHW’s Strategic Plan - providing an overview of CHW, its service areas, strategic direction, regulatory requirements and an update on Let’s Talk Water commitments.
  • CHW’s transformation program to support the outcomes from the Let’s Talk Water campaign including its digital initiatives.  

 

3. INSIGHTS AND ADVICE FROM THE PANEL

 

DIGITAL PROGRAM

We understand our customers want tools to help them better understand their water usage and online services to provide them with greater ability to manage their accounts.

Following the presentation about CHW's digital initiatives, the Panel was presented with a series of questions to gain insight and feedback on customers’ needs regarding the delivery of services that would provide real-time information on their water consumption.

The Panel provided the following insights to help CHW with its approach and planning for using digital service technologies to better inform customers on their water usage:

 TOPIC THEME

PANEL ADVICE AND INSIGHTS

SIMPLICITY

Any online tool or app that monitors water usage must be simple, easy to use and available across both an app and desktop computer.

COMPARATIVE DATA

Customers would value access to real-time data and information that compares water usage from season to season, month to month and customer averages.

PRIVACY

Protection of customer information is paramount.

LONG-TERM WATER SECURITY

It will be important for CHW to highlight that the introduction of any digital initiative is aimed at providing customers with greater access to information, so they better understand and manage their water usage.

LEAK DETECTION

Customers would expect CHW to identify leaks (or unusual water usage) and alert customers in real-time.

DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS SUPPORTED BY TRADITIONAL CUSTOMER INTERACTION

Recognising that our customers are diverse and have preferences for how they receive information from CHW.  All customer and community communications must be multi-channeled.

TRANSPARENCY

Our Panel members (and customers) value CHW being transparent about the cost implications and cost benefits.

 

4. CLOSING

The Charter indicates the Panel will hold a meeting at minimum every six months. The Panel unanimously agreed to hold the next meeting in June 2019.