Case Study: Yarra Valley Water


Yarra Valley Water settles disputes in minutes, boosts customer
satisfaction, cuts site visits by 20% and achieves substantial annual
savings each year

Yarra Valley Water is the largest of Melbourne’s three water corporations, providing water and sewerage services to 1.8 million people and 50,000 businesses in the city’s northern and eastern suburbs. The company owns and maintains more than 9,000 kilometres of water mains and over 9,000 kilometres of sewer mains. In addition to supplying established communities and commercial entities, it also services new suburbs and business parks. To ensure the operational integrity of its infrastructure, Yarra Valley Water retains a dynamic and highly professional field maintenance team, committed to delivering exceptional customer service.

The company was keen to optimise the customer experience in relation to claims and billing-disputes. These investigations were often costly and time-consuming, requiring site assessments and evaluation. Through the use of new technology, Yarra Valley Water hoped to gain greater insight into customer issues to enhance decision-making, resolve disputes faster and increase customer satisfaction.

Yarra Valley Water deployed nearmap for its field maintenance division and settled disputes faster and more efficiently. It minimised revenue lost through compensation payouts and greatly improved customer satisfaction. The company also eliminated a range of travel and inspection costs, enhanced maintenance and planning operations, and cut site visits by 20% by using nearmap to provide clear and detailed visibility into its on-the-ground assets. Furthermore, by using nearmap’s Timeline, a comprehensive archive of aerial surveys, to enable “before and after” comparisons, Yarra Valley Water was better equipped to monitor and maintain its extensive infrastructure, and respond quickly and personally to customer concerns, deepening customer engagement.

nearmap gives us fast, easy access to detailed current and historic visual information that enables us to resolve billing disputes and damage claims in minutes, increasing customer satisfaction. It also achieves substantial annual savings by enabling us to manage customer disputes quickly and efficiently, as well as improving asset management and cutting site visits by 20%, said Alberto Vela, manager of Yarra Valley Water’s Contract and Procurement.

 Image source: nearmap

Image source: nearmap

Resolves claims in minutes, improves customer satisfaction and achieves substantial annual savings

Using nearmap’s Timeline, Yarra Valley Water was able to provide detailed visual evidence in support of its disputes processes. This enabled the utility to determine the historical accuracy, or inaccuracy, of competing claims, resolve issues in minutes, and effect a dramatic increase in customer satisfaction.

 Image source: nearmap

Image source: nearmap

“A property owner complained that his driveway was badly cracked because we had driven onto his property while doing maintenance works in the area,” said Alberto Vela, manager of Yarra Valley Water’s Contract and Procurement. “A month into the dispute, however, we still couldn’t determine a definitive cause, since the contractors insisted they hadn’t been anywhere near the property. We used the Timeline to view an image of the property pre-dating the maintenance works, and, by zooming down, were able to see clearly that the cracks were already there. It was then just a matter of going to see the property owner, showing him the photo, and the dispute was over. It was fantastic.”

The benefits Yarra Valley Water gains from using nearmap images to settle claims also extends to the billing division, where our customer consultants are able to have better informed conversations with customers. The outcomes have also been very impressive.

In the past, billing disputes like this had often dragged on, with little real hope of a satisfactory resolution for either party. With nearmap’s ability to provide detailed, factual evidence, however, this was no longer the case.

“nearmap enabled us to effectively manage our customer disputes, resulting in reduced compensation payments and significant overall annual savings,” Vela said.

At the same time, Yarra Valley Water used nearmap’s products to further strengthen customer relations and reduce the number of queries that escalated into disputes, by identifying situations where faulty or damaged company infrastructure was impacting on customers, and rectifying the problem.

Continue to learn more about how nearmap has helped Yarra Valley Water streamline thier dispute resolution process and much more by downloading the full PDF version.