The three main themes communicated during this WaterSide Chat were as follows:
- When messaging is timely and targeted to customers, it has the power to cut down complaints and improve the quality of utility-customer interactions.
- By automating customer alerting, utility staff can save time to focus on higher value projects that are important to utility operations.
- The primary obstacle to effective engagement is gathering customer contact information. Best practice should be to use every interaction with customers (events, bill payments, calls, etc.) to gather emails and phone numbers to quickly fill the database.
Julia Escamilla is the Public Services Information Officer for the Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District, located in Escondido, California. With 18 years of service, Julia is also an elected local governmental official and sits on the Board of Director for the Mission Resource Conservation District.
Ed Cooney is a public works professional with over 25 years of experience in both the public and private sectors. Ed currently serves as the Program Manager for CSG Consultants, Inc., which provides public works and engineering services to public agencies. Ed has played a pivotal role in managing the Town of Hillsborough’s CIP to convert an aging water meter system to automated metering infrastructure (AMI) system.
Dana Haasz stepped in to cover for Ed while he handled a family issue. Dana works directly with the Town of Hillsborough as their Customer Success Manager. Dana is responsible for working with individual utility partners to ensure that the implementation process and the ongoing program are seamless and successful. Dana has almost 20 years experience in water conservation, utility program implementation, water resources and integrated planning, demand modeling, compliance assessment and policy. Prior to joining WaterSmart, Dana worked as the Water Conservation Program Manager at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, where she led the planning, development and implementation of all demand-related activities at the utility.