3C) Real-time notification of details and locations of faults and outages - through automated SMS notifications

About this project

Feedback from our customers indicated that they place a much higher value on timely information about faults and interruptions occurring in their immediate area than on response times. Around 68% of GVW customers are happy with the current service, but we can see that there is still room for improvement.
There are very few water authorities in Australia using text message notifications to provide faults/service interruption notifications to customers, so this is an opportunity for us to use technology to create benefits for our customers.

What we have done so far

We have been working to proactively build our database of customer mobile phone numbers and a standard process has been developed for all staff responsible for sending messages and updating our website.
In the past year, we’ve sent more than 11,900 SMSs, which has included information about planned works, faults or outages, critical service or account information and information about key changes, such as staged water restrictions implementation/relaxing.
We’ve implemented a process to ensure we’re meeting our targets - since July 1, 2019 our coverage of SMS notifications for prescribed events is at 98% (as at March). As a result of this success, we have only been required to issue GSL payments to 11 customers in the past year. This is a significant achievement in a short amount of time using a complex process. We have also implemented advice about preferred timings and information into the process as discussed at the 2019 Annual Performance Forum.
We have also developed an online mapping tool which is now available on our website, and links are provided in the text messages for customers to find more information about the fault or service issue at this page.

What's next?

We’ll be working to achieve our target of 100% notifications to customers who have provided their mobile phone number to us and are affected by an interruption or fault. We’ll be continuing to build our customer number database and create more awareness of our digital tools to improve service and information provision for customers. We will also investigate new programs and technologies to make the SMS process timelier and smoother.
Due to the success of the SMS program, we will continue to expand the use of SMS notifications across the business to other programs outside of service interruptions, such as water main replacements, sewer works, water quality issues and more.
We’ll be further refining the online mapping tool to bring it in line with best practice standards and to improve the look and ease of access.

Our accountability for this project

From July 2019 onwards, in the event of GVW not sending an SMS notification to affected customers when a prescribed event occurs, a GSL credit of $25 will be due to all affected customers. This GSL commitment applies only to customers who have provided their mobile number to GVW.

For this information in PDF form, click here to download the factsheet (PDF: 404.2KB)