As with any customer-facing organization, water utilities experience their share of customer dissatisfaction. In most cases, trained staff using established procedures can handle the normal volume of complaints. However, these coping mechanisms fail when the level of dissatisfaction spirals and grows louder—loud enough to produce serious political, media, and community consequences. Why are utilities surprised or caught unprepared for this type of resistance, and why do their "normal" customer service mechanisms fail?
West Monroe Partners suggests that there are natural internal barriers in the utility leadership approach that can lead to these negative political, media, and community outcomes. Understanding these barriers and proactively moving to correct them allows utilities to provide greater customer service while simultaneously reducing operating expenses.