Market Research

Water Market Research


Market Research within the water sector is something which DJS Research has vast experience of. We work with regulatory and consumer bodies, water wholesalers and retailers and other companies servicing the water sector.

Water Market Research

We have had a busy 2 years supporting a number of WaSCs and WoCs on their business plans and water resource management plans. We have worked in collaboration with our clients to ensure their research is robust, representative, relevant and innovative.


Our research has covered key business planning pieces such as customer priorities, willingness to pay, PCs and ODIs and Acceptability research, as well as more bespoke pieces including:

Asset health and resilience
Metering and water resources
The water environment
Vulnerable customer and BAME needs
Customer experience
Retail services
NHH retailer consultations
Social tariffs


Gone are the days when customer engagement is only the focus of the 24 months leading to business plan submission. Our clients are already planning their research programmes post business plan submission and we look forward to continuing to work on a range of interesting and challenging projects. We have vast experience in the areas of customer satisfaction and experience, resilience, water efficiency, sewer misuse, occupancy surveys, visitor satisfaction, trackers, branding, communications and segmentation. We also have specialist B2B interviewers and have conducted numerous surverys for Developer Services teams.


During PR14 and PR19 we have enjoyed working on range of interesting resilience related projects. These have related to specific large-scale investment programmes as well as the more generic topic of resilience and asset health. We are skilled at presenting the subject matter in an engaging way e.g. using props and videos from our Creative Services department and in a non-biased way (we often call on our behavioural scientist to advise on this). Resilience projects often also require an element of willingness to pay testing. For this we use our statistician, Rachel Waddington.

Customer Behaviours

We have been conducting research into water efficiency and sewer-misuse research for a number of years. Depending on our clients’ needs, we can bring a number of features to these projects including ethnography, segmentation and behavioural science.

Behavioural Science

As part of our expanding utilities offer we have been increasingly applying the learnings of behavioural science when answering our clients’ research problems. Click here to find out more.  

Occupancy Surveys

In 2016, two of our water sector researchers, Ali Sims and Alex McCluckie, attended the UKWIR Integration of Behaviour into Demand Forecasting and Water Efficiency Practices workshop, where we presented on best practice when it comes to demand forecasting research and in particular occupancy surveys.

DJS Research has undertaken occupancy surveys for a number of WaSCs and WoCs including Thames Water, Southern Water, Affinity Water, United Utilities, Dwr Cymru and Yorkshire Water over recent years. These have been undertaken using a telephone methodology. DJS Research has two in-house CATI (computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing) units in Strines and Leeds, which house over 80 CATI stations. Recent occupancy surveys have consisted of as many as 10,000 interviews. The advantage of a telephone methodology over a postal methodology is that quotas can be set to ensure that a representative sample of customers is surveyed. In postal surveys some groups, typically the over 65’s, can be over-represented.

Our researchers are experienced in consumer and business to business research. Our B2B research includes:

  • Awareness and perceptions
  • Customer needs segmentation
  • Tariffs
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Key Accounts
  • CCWater’s Testing the Waters 
  • Consultations with developers

Developer Services

We have been conducting research on behalf of Developer Services teams in the water and electricity sectors for many years. Our work has included in-depth qualitative research with first time and repeat customers, workshops with large developers and quantitative surveys to measure customer perceptions and expectations.

We are keenly following developments with D-MEX and look forward to supporting our clients in this area going forward.


BAMEs & Vulnerable Customers

We have conducted numerous projects with a cross-section of customers in vulnerable circumstances. Our experienced interviewers have explored how utilities companies could work harder to understand and support these customers in their everyday life, during service failures and during financially difficult times.

Our research has been widely used across many teams within our clients’ businesses. In 2017, Ali Sims, one of our Research Directors, spoke on this topic at the MRS Utilities Conference, conference paper can be seen here. We also partner with Agroni Research to offer quantitative and qualitative research with those who struggle to speak English. Languages include, but are not limited to, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati and Punjabi. Agroni have been involved with different cultures and communities for almost twenty years. Their ability to understand different communities adds precious insight into the projects we undertake. For more information please visit our page on engaging with BAME customers.

Customer Satisfaction & Experience

Cumulatively our directors alone have around 200 years’ experience in this area having consulted on this topic for some of the UK’s best-known companies. In the water sector we have conducted numerous customer satisfaction and experience trackers. Our multi-channel research offer includes SMS, online, face to face and CATI surveys, enabling us to maximise responses. We can also offer a range of statistical techniques to further explore this area.

We have also used a range of qualitative and investigative research techniques to explore customer’s service experiences across retail and wholesale service areas in more depth. This has included post incident research where we have explored how the service and comms surrounding the incident could’ve been improved.

In addition to Household and Non-Household research in this area, we conduct Key Account research on behalf of clients. Through our specialist B2B CATI interviewers and qualitative researchers we can capture valuable feedback to shape your future services to this audience.

If you are interested in discussing your needs further or just to chat about the latest goings on within this exciting sector, please contact Ali Sims, Research Director on asims@djsresearch.com or Alex McCluckie, Associate Director on amccluckie@djsresearch.com or give us a ring on 01663 767857.

Please feel free to have a look at our utilities sector insights and research findings which can be found here: Utilities Research Findings or for automatic updates follow our Utilities Twitter account: @DJS_Utilities


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