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.

Specific Responses  January to June 2020

Step Champion Action Items Next Steps
1. Work with City on enhancing customer service, beginning with identifying and refining standards that define the service experience. Customer Service Manager Standard Procedure templates created for Customer Service
 
2. Tie communication priorities to those developed in each Strategic Objective in this Plan. Management Analyst Strategic Plan webpage created. Updated semi-annually 1. 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.
3. 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
Customer 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. . 1.Working with GIS to create a working paragon model for focused neighborhood emergency notification tied to Customer billing database, for email notification
4. 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 strong  community relationships. Management Analyst, Public Information Officer, Water Services Communications Team Created standard procedures for management of blogs and news pieces. Director to send out email to water stakeholders, explaining why they are receiving monthly blogs, and asking that they open them to remain informed.
5. Continue to improve investment proposals, making them  clear and compelling. Management Analyst, Water Services Communications Team Coordinate 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.
6. Develop stronger information and messages on critical water issues, for example climate change, supply reliability, and rates affordability. Management Analyst, Water Services Communications Team Water Talk and Water Reliability Today, blogs and news pieces. Identify communications guidelines for rate notices, code changes.  Develop emergency communication standards and procedures