Cambridge, 13th January 2011:– The extreme weather conditions of December and January caused unprecedented problems for water companies in the UK. It left hundreds of thousands of customers angry, upset and frustrated as they were unable to make contact with their supplier. It is reported that some water companies received over 400,000 call attempts to the call centre, of which only 3,300 were answered together with tens of thousands unanswered e-mails. It was a customer service catastrophe!

Wessex Water, Welsh Water, Northumbria Water, Yorkshire Water and Essex & Suffolk Water however were well equipped to handle the potential customer deluge as they were already using an online customer service solution, smartAgent, provided by Synthetix. Anxious customers were able to go online and quickly and easily ask questions about frozen pipes, burst pipes and leaks allowing the water companies to deal with the huge peaks in customer service traffic in an efficient and proactive way. Some water companies saw the traffic to their smartAgent Virtual Assistant increase by an incredible 35 times the daily average! The technology worked best when it was needed the most.

Synthetix understands how the utility sector operates, and appreciate the peaks that can occur; the annual billing cycle, the drought warnings and water shortages in the summer months and frozen and burst pipes in the winter months. Synthetix proactively manage the customer service content for our utility customers ensuring their customers are always given the most up to date information and this has been really appreciated by the water companies.

Peter McKean, Managing Director at Synthetix commented "We're market leaders in the Water utility sector and are pleased that our technology was there when it was needed the most! That said, it is not all about technology, we have provided a great managed service to keep things up to date."


Note To Editors

• Synthetix Ltd is a developer of cutting-edge, intelligent software technologies for on-line marketing, customer self-service and usability. Founded in 2001, Synthetix has unparalleled expertise in the field of 'Online Customer Service’ design and deployment.

• The company has become the marketing, customer service and web usability technology choice for blue-chip brands including the BBC, Virgin Holidays, Best Western Hotels, Travelodge, The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Vauxhall Motors, Northumbria Water, Currys, CITB, AEG, Ford, BT, Masterfoods, Low Cost Holidays, Yorkshire Building Society, Wessex Water, SkillsActive and Welsh Water

For further information, please contact: Adam Ashcroft, Telephone: 01223 393671, Mobile: 07808 129 300, E-mail:, Website:

Published on: 4:36PM on 19th January 2011