WaterSide Chat: The Key to Customer Service Efficiency

September 24, 2019
11:00 am - 12:00 pm Pacific


Customer Service Manager,
City of Tempe


Senior Customer Service Representative,
City of Mansfield, Tx

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As cities grow and the replacement of the retiring workforce in the water industry proves to be a challenge, the volume of angry customer calls that each customer service representative will need to handle will inevitably increase. The last thing a utility will want is to have their customers waiting longer on hold to get in touch with someone, allowing more time for their frustration to build, so how can a utility ensure that their customer service staff are empowered to be able to handle increased demand with less? In this WaterSide Chat, we will be joined by two experts to discuss strategies that have proven effective in improving call resolution times, decreasing call escalations, and bettering the overall quality of customer conversations. 

Tarja Nummela is the Customer Service Manager for the City of Tempe. Tarja holds B.S. in Marketing and MBA in International Business. She has 25 years of utility experience, the last 18 years in the City of Tempe, AZ. The City of Tempe provides utility services for 185,000 residents and has approximately 44,000 metered connections.  In the last 18 years Tarja has lead Tempe team in multiple system implementations including CIS, IVR/IWR, paperless work order, meter reading, and most recently completed AMI and WaterSmart implementations. She is actively involved in AZ Water Association Customer Service Council and a member of AWWA Customer Service Committee.

Kayla Cardinale has been working for the City of Mansfield for the past 7 years. Kayla started as a meter reader and moved to Utility Billing as a Customer Service Representative in 2012 and as of this year, is now the Senior Customer Service Representative. She works with our Customer Service Reps managing customer calls and engagement in order to give our residents the best service possible.