Customer Service

Communications collage

Objective 9: Enhance Communications & Customer Service

Relevant Standards

  • Build a strong reputation, maintaining trust and support from the community
  • Provide exceptional customer service based on clearly defined standards
  • Encourage meaningful public participation in the Division’s decision-making processes
  • Make it easy for people to be substantively informed about critical water issues in Flagstaff
  • Base communication content and outreach activities on clearly defined standards

Background

The Division is charged with providing reliable water services and exceptional customer service. Both of these require appropriate investment in resources and infrastructure. Securing this investment requires that the Division be trusted related to its operations, planning, and investment proposals.

Challenge/Opportunity

As technical organizations, many utilities struggle with defining the most effective and efficient way to communicate with policy makers, employees, and the community. Shared information is often too technical, and communication activities are often not tied to specific standards or outcomes. Customer service can be enhanced by developing standards that define a service experience we all would want.

Timing Concerns

Climate change is accelerating, resulting in increased uncertainty in water supply issues, indicating more aggressive planning and communications should begin now.

Water Services Strategic Plan 2025                                                                                        2021 Accomplishments

 

Objective 9: Enhance Communications and Customer Service

 Reporting Period: 

January - June 2021

 

Specific Responses

Champion & TEAM

Accomplishments

Next Steps

Work with City on enhancing customer service, beginning with identifying and refining standards that define the service experience

Customer Service Manager

Contracted with software vendor to provide point-of-service payment and access at load out stations.

Enhanced services - load out

station and customer access to meter info.

Tie communication priorities to those developed in each Strategic Objective in this Plan.

Management Analyst

1. Working with Sections, beginning with Stormwater, to provide communications on Rio de Flag

Flood Control Project. 2. Creating

1. Working with Sections, beginning with Stormwater, to provide communications on Rio de Flag Flood Control Project. 2.

Develop communication standards that address customer communications, specifically water-use efficiency, emergencies, planned service outages, and neighborhood construction. These standards should also address what it means for people to be substantively informed.

Management Analyst, Water Conservation Manager

Used NextDoor and social media to inform residents of road closures due to repairs on three occasions.

2. Develop emergency communication standards and procedures 3. Contracted for a non- revenue water loss audit to identify losses and improve efficiencies.

1.Working with GIS to create a working paragon model for focused neighborhood emergency notification tied to Customer billing database, for email notification 2. Develop a regular spotlight on a Section or Employee, highlighting their job duties - for internal and external

Continue Division efforts to provide brief and meaningful information to employees, policy makers, and the community that makes it easy to be substantively informed about water issues. Use this information to build stronger community relationships.

Management Analyst, Public Information Officer, Water Services Communications Team

1. Retained consistent blog and news messaging throughout the period. 2. Customer Service promoted existing programs/charities to help customers pay their utility bills 3. Monthly report to City Manager

and Council is also being distributed

Notify customers of available enhancements- load out station upgrades, usage tracking

Continue to improve investment proposals, making them clear and compelling

Management Analyst, Water Services Communications Team

Compelling arguments made for needed investments

Working with Sections, to develop the compelling argument format for infrastructure needs in each area.

Develop stronger information and messages on critical water issues, for example climate change, supply reliability, and rates affordability

Management Analyst

Monsoon preparedness messaging, flooding/rain gauge information, periodic posts on the impact of climate change.

Identify communications guidelines for rate notices, code changes. Develop emergency communication standards and

procedures

 

Water Services Strategic Plan 20252020 Accomplishments
Objective 9: Enhance Communications and Customer ServiceReporting Period:  January-June 2020Reporting Period:            
July-December 2020

 Specific ResponsesChampion & TEAMAccomplishmentsAccomplishments Next Steps
Work with City on enhancing customer service, beginning with identifying and refining standards that define the service experienceCustomer Service ManagerStandard Procedure templates created for Customer Service
Enhanced services - load out station and customer access to meter info.
Tie communication priorities to those developed in each Strategic Objective in this Plan.Management AnalystStrategic Plan webpage created. Updated semi-annually1. Monthly updates to Rio De Flag Flood Control Project, promoted infrastructure improvements and maintenance at facilities                    2.  Created webpages for high profile construction projects in coordination with Community Development1. Working with Sections, beginning with Stormwater, to provide communications on Rio de Flag Flood Control Project.     2. Creating separate webpages for high profile/impact construction projects, with information updated regularly, especially street closures, etc.  
Develop communication standards that address customer communications, specifically water-use efficiency, emergencies, planned service outages, and neighborhood construction. These standards should also address what it means for people to be substantively informed.Mnagement Analyst, Water Conservation ManagerCustomer Service created standard procedures for call handling. Coordinated a planned outreach for construction projects, notices for service outages. Use facebook and NextDoor apps to reach specific audiences.Use of social media to relay service interruptions, road work related to water work.1.Working with GIS to create a working paragon model for focused neighborhood emergency notification tied to Customer billing database, for email notification
Continue Division efforts to provide brief and meaningful information to employees, policy makers, and the community that makes it easy to be substantively informed about water issues. Use this information to build stronger community relationships.Management Analyst, Public Information Officer, Water Services Communications TeamCreated standard procedures for management of blogs and news pieces.Consistent,monthly blogs on critical capital infrastrucutreNotify customers of available enhancements- load out station upgrades, usage tracking
Continue to improve investment proposals, making them clear and compellingManagement Analyst, Water Services Communications TeamCoordinate and communicate with Project Managers on Water projects throughout the city.  Update Rio de Flag website with current information. Create blogs on current construction projects
Working with Sections, to develop the compelling argument format for infrastructure needs in each area.
Develop stronger information and messages on critical water issues, for example climate change, supply reliability, and rates affordabilityManagement AnalystWater Talk and Water Reliability Today , blogs and news pieces.Reclaimed Water stakeholder Committee reviewed reclaimed water as a resources, and identified standards, for future policy makingIdentify communications guidelines for rate notices, code changes.  Develop emergency communication standards and procedures