News : Louisville Water Co. Working to Bring Down Call Wait Times
Louisville, KY, USA, Oct 21, 2015 -- From paying in person at the old Louisville Water Company building, to paying over the phone, to paying online with this new electronic system--set up in March--the way you pay your Louisville water bill continues to change. But the latest switch to a more modern billing system has been a headache for some customers.
"I think customers were so used to being able to reach us, that it’s taken longer. So that is what we've heard from customers is, I don't like waiting on hold more than five or 10 minutes. We don't like you waiting on hold that long," Louisville Water Company Communications Director Kelley Dearing Smith said.
Dearing Smith said the first spike in the call volume came right after the switch in March when customers received new account numbers and were adjusting to the new system. Now, since they started collections again in September their customer service center is again seeing more than a thousand calls a day, and the more calls have meant long wait times. Some customers reported waiting more than half an hour to speak with a representative.
"The spike in the call volume we were not surprised at, we knew we were going to have peaks in the volume and the wait times. I think what we are surprised by is that it has lingered this long,"
Dearing Smith said. "This project has definitely been a challenge, has been a huge challenge for our customer service employees, but we also recognize it has been very frustrating for a lot of our customers who can't get to us. We are working to make improvements and there are lots of improvements underway but it’s going to take time until we get through these first few weeks and actually, a couple of months in the collections process."
Dearing Smith said in an effort to bring down wait times and better serve customers they plan to redesign the water bill to more clearly describe charges and hire more people to work in the customer services center in 2016.
"We are adding staff to our customer care center, more analytical staff who can help to analyze the data we have all this data now coming in through our billing system. We are also adding staff who can communicate via email. It is much different than having a conversation in person, so yes we will add different skill set staff to the call center; we are actually doing that right now," Dearing Smith said.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Louisville Water Co:
Louisville Water Company is a municipal water company which provides water to the more than 800,000 people in Louisville, Kentucky as well as parts of Oldham and Bullitt counties.
Published: Thursday, October 22, 2015