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The Key to Customer Service Efficiency

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The three main themes the discussion focused on include:

  1. Identify best practices! Gather your representatives to determine effective and consistent messages you will all use to resolve calls quickly.
  2. Getting information into the hands of customers is key. Providing customers access to data empowers them to answer their own questions.
  3. Water utilities historically lag behind other industries in terms of technology trends, but the future of customer service will rely on innovative solutions.


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.