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.
Historically there have been 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.

Actions to date

Since July 2021, we’ve sent more than 192,000 SMSs - this includes information for planned and emergency works, large scale project information, important water service information and more.
Based on feedback from the Annual Performance Forum, we’ve begun sending payment reminders and overdue advice via SMS. We’ve also increased outreach for our payment support and assistance options via SMS as an added option for people experiencing hardship.
Our monthly reporting shows we’re currently tracking at about 95% of SMSs sent for our events - down from our 100% target, and on par with last year’s 96%. In this financial year, we’ve issued payments from 7 ‘events’ to 51 customers who didn’t receive an SMS - this is 0.7% of all SMSs we’ve sent for service interruptions. So while we know we have work to do to achieve our 100% target, we feel we’re tracking fairly well, considering the process is susceptible to human error at a number of different stages.

What's next?

We’ve identified some common areas where we’ve missed sending an SMS, so we’ll work to improve those. We’ll continue to build our mobile number database and to refine the wording of our templates to make them more customer friendly. We’ll also look for other opportunities at GV Water to use SMS to communicate better with customers.
We also plan to redevelop our service interruptions web page this year, to make it clearer and easier for people to find more information about their interruption.

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: 165KB)