ETSOS Case Study: Severn Trent Searches

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6 March 2013

Severn Trent Searches help conveyancers and homebuyers to find out more about potential purchases for both residential and commercial properties. Severn Trent Searches began in April 2000 and is a part of Severn Trent Services. The company is the official provider of the CON29DW and Commercial DW Drainage & Water Enquiries across the Severn Trent region.

Conveyancing has long been a core practice area but the current management regularly evaluate their offering and the operation behind it, keen to continuously improve working methods, client satisfaction and competitiveness.

The rationale

Owen Davies of Severn Trent Searches explains the uniquely symbiotic relationship with ETSOS: “ETSOS are one of our customers – they use us for drainage and water searches across the Midlands – but we are also one of theirs – they supply us with official searches from a number of local authorities. It may seem a little odd to be ‘in cahoots’ with a competitor but we have an excellent relationship and are very happy to support one another.

As we were unable to source searches directly from a proportion of UK local authorities, we had to seek out an intermediary to help us fill the one gap in our offering. We’ve had a lot of experience of search companies and we struggled to find anyone who shared our customer service values. Service in some instances can be our only differentiator and turnaround, in terms of speed, accuracy and the general smoothness of the transaction, is absolutely key. We needed a partner that understood that and mirrored our own approach and that partner was ETSOS.”

The experience

“Because we supply searches to a certain standard we expect that standard from ETSOS and the biggest compliment I can pay them is that you really can’t see the join! They conduct themselves with the same promptness and professionalism that we ask of our own team, and this allows us to offer a full service without any compromise in quality. For me, the simple expedient of having named account managers is a huge bonus. It’s allowed us to quickly build up relationships, develop trust and confidence, and we know that if there are any delays or issues, we’re going to get the right response. There’s a strong sense of accountability and problem ownership amongst the ETSOS team, and add knowledge and expertise to the can-do attitude and you have an extremely robust and reliable delivery partner. It’s clear too that such a mature, assured and client-oriented approach exists from top to bottom of the organisation. The directors are very hands-on and very keen to hear and learn from their users as to how things can be made better. Again that is very much a shared ethos and we are always happy to contribute to that virtuous feedback/ improvement circle.”

The difference

“What I like about ETSOS is that they don’t seem to have a weak link, and I think that’s largely down to their intelligent approach to the market. They’ve given us a brilliantly simple concept and backed it up with slick technology and smart people. That translates into consistent, reliable delivery, which is the thing we prize most as it impacts directly on our own service standards. We’re particularly impressed with the calibre of the account management team – there’s a lot of talent there, professionals who know their stuff and who, very refreshingly in this day and age, obviously enjoy their work and thrive on doing a good job. That makes our lives very much easier and that’s why ETSOS remains a valued partner of Severn Trent Searches.


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