THE BUSINESS AIMS
CCWater represent water and sewerage consumers in England and Wales and take up unresolved complaints.
The aim of this research was to understand how CCWater can best serve the needs of water customers through their corporate website.
We wanted to find out how useful and accessible household and business customers found the CCWater website, what areas they thought could be improved, and how the content could continue to be made relevant for them.
In particular, they were keen to find out the information needs of business customers in the run up to the introduction of retail competition in the water industry in England from April 2017.
We carried out 30 eye-tracked depth interviews (20 household, 10 business) 2 focus groups (group 1 SME businesses, group 2 larger businesses).
- CCWater’s website is performing adequately on the whole
- The layout, look and feel of the site is ‘clean and uncluttered’
- The website is well optimised and works well on mobile devices
Labelling and navigation:
- Some content pages are too long and contain too much detail
- There are too many answers in the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section and some visitors feel ‘overwhelmed’
- The FAQ section contains long blocks of text which is too small to read
- Some of the FAQ answers are too long and repetitive and lack clear ‘next steps’ for customers
- Information for business customers is ‘buried in site’
- Some of the headings on home page are not logical
- Some visitors leave the site quickly when they can’t find what they are looking for
Information presentation and tone:
The ‘About us’ section should include more information about CCWater’s role and how the organisation is run and funded
- Language used on the site feels “too official” or governmental’
- The amount of text on some pages makes it hard to absorb
- Some of the content is not directly relevant to customers
Content specific to retail competition:
- Awareness of retail competition is low among business customers
- Information on the website is written from a policy perspective
- Some information is “confusing” for customers or is out of date
- Business customers are unclear about what the changes will mean for them in real terms
CCWater have taken our findings on board and have presented them publically on their website as part of their digital review. They have announced that they have now produced a website development plan. Visitors should expect to see improvements to the website over the next few months. You can read more on their website : http://www.ccwater.org.uk/blog/2015/08/28/website-usability-and-benchmarking-research