Outstanding customer service has landed Bournemouth & West Hampshire Water (BWHW) a new government accolade.

It has become one of the first water companies in England and Wales to be awarded the government standard, Customer Service Excellence. An independent assessor analysed the way BWHW dealt with customers including:

• Spending time in customer services

• Listening to calls

• Accompanying a field inspector on his rounds

The company’s special care services for vulnerable or disadvantaged customers came in for particular praise. Customer Service Excellence is the successor to the government’s Charter Mark scheme and recognises excellence in public services. BWHW was awarded a Charter Mark for ten years in succession. Tony Cooke, BWHW’s (now former) Managing Director, said: “This is a great achievement and shows that being a monopoly does not mean bad service. “Our staff at all levels, and in all areas, go the extra mile to provide as caring and as personal a service as possible. I am very proud and grateful to them all. Their success is richly deserved.”

BWHW supplies water to about half a million people across Dorset, West Hampshire and part of Wiltshire. Last year Ofwat ranked BWHW as the top performing water company for service delivery in England and Wales. The company achieved its best ever performance by scoring 287 points – out of a maximum 288 – in the regulator’s annual overall performance assessment.