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For Lee County Utilities, Customer Self Service Means Happier Customers Both On and Offline

Moving to a fully hosted and managed solution has huge benefits. With the hosting and managing services that Vertex provides, utilities can shift their focus from software and infrastructure maintenance to where it really belongs: the customer.

Lee County Utilities is a division of the Department of Public Utilities in Lee County in Southwest Florida. The population in the area is growing rapidly, with 100 new water and wastewater accounts added to Lee County's customer base each month. Lee County recognized the need to upgrade their customer self-service solution, and in 2016, they moved to the Vertex Customer Advantage solution.

How did the Vertex web and mobile self-service solution not only provide customers the online access to their utility account they demanded, but also help reduce the call and walk-in wait times for customers?

How a fully hosted and managed customer self-service solution helped boots on the ground

The Vertex solution included modules to allow customer online payment options. With ETF (electronic funds transfer), a mobile app, and an online payment portal, busy customers didn't need to stop by the Customer Service Center lobby to pay in person.

In fact, according to Lee County's Customer Service Manager Paul Flores, the new payment options have decreased lobby customer service traffic significantly, resulting in a monthly reduction of over 15,800 manual, in-person customer service transactions. Early morning and late afternoon transactions slowed down. Instead of stopping to pay their bills during rush hour, customers were more than happy to pay online at their own convenience.

After discovering that trend, the Customer Service Department proposed a schedule change in the lobby hours and cashiers' schedules. A slight adjustment provided more available staff to assist the Call Center with field operations calls. This reduced customer call wait-times and the employees also assisted in completing back-office functions more efficiently.

The current utility industry trend is self-service online payment options. But, as Lee County has shown, it helps improve customer service offline as well.

Read the complete story in our latest case study, Lee County Utilities Improves Online Customer Service, Allowing Better Utilization of Lobby Staff.

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