Our ambitions

Ambition One

A consistently leading customer experience

Although Scottish households trust their water services more than any other sector, we are still keen to do even more. Our ambition is to deliver a consistently leading customer experience.

To achieve this, we will continue to listen to our customers and prioritise the things that they tell us are important to them, putting their interests at the heart of everything we do.

We recognise that our customers are both consumers of our services and citizens affected by our activities in the communities in which they live, work and travel.

Excellence in customer service

Our customer research programme is helping us to understand our customers’ priorities and expectations, which will shape our future plans.

We will continue to use a range of leading feedback and survey techniques to listen to our customers’ experiences of Scottish Water, drawing from the experience of the OECD. We will also continue to benchmark the customer experience we deliver with nearly 500 other organisational members of the Institute of Customer Service, allowing us to learn from other leading service providers.

We will further embrace digital technologies to create an informed, connected and personalised experience, through whichever channel our customers choose to communicate with us. This will be a step change in the experience we provide to customers who contact us.

Putting customers and communities at the heart of what we do

The investments we make in our assets and infrastructure will last for many generations, so we must ensure that they fulfil the needs of both our current and future customers.

Our customers have told us that they want our services to provide value for money, to be reliable and resilient, and they would like us to prioritise:

  • Improving the quality of their drinking water.
  • Reducing the risk of long term interruptions to their water supply.
  • Reducing the risk of internal property flooding from sewers.

We also know that while our operational and capital programme activities often have positive impacts on the communities we serve, this is unfortunately not always the case.

We interact with a range of communities, from "communities of place", ranging from city centre neighbourhoods to remote island villages, to "communities of interest" evolving around common interests such as fishing or surfing.

Each of these has specific needs and preferences, which we will work to understand, endeavouring always to deliver our services and investment in the most effective way overall. To achieve this, we will look at how to increase community input in our decision-making, particularly within our capital programme. Our ambition is for Scottish Water to be trusted by the communities we serve.

To deliver an excellent customer experience, we need great people. We will invest further in our people, developing their skills and talents so that they are trusted to serve Scotland.

Being a great wholesaler

There are over 25 licensed providers in Scotland’s water retail market who deliver services to our business customers. They are responsible for all retail services such as billing, credit management and relationship management.

We will ensure that we provide a great service to these licensed providers, and that their customers receive a high quality water and sewerage service.

Engaging our future customers

Through our volunteering programme, we will visit schools across Scotland to involve young people in our ‘water cycle campaign’ to educate them in the importance of only putting the right things down the sink or toilet.

We will also seek to inform them about the part they can play in more sustainable living, such as using water wisely, engaging them and their families in how we can respond together to the challenges that we face.

We will also continue to use partnership opportunities, like our existing Learn to Swim partnership with Scottish Swimming, to reach young people with key messages including staying safe around rivers, beaches and reservoirs.

Improvement priorities


Internal sewer flooding Long term interruptions Drinking water quality


External sewer flooding Short term interruptions Environmental pollution
Taste and odour
Visible leakage


Bathing water quality
River water quality
Low pressure
Waste water treatment
works odour

This ambition will contribute
to the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:

  • 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
St Mary’s Primary School pupils learning about ‘water cycle campaign’ and water efficiency

St Mary’s Primary School pupils learning about ‘water cycle campaign’ and water efficiency