Thoughts

A place for education, information, and insights about the water industry.

Topics: utility customers

Recent Lessons in Crisis Communications

November 29, 2018
| By Ed Archuleta
 
 
 
It is a crisp October morning. A WaterSmart colleague rolled out of bed late, grabbed his things, and rushed out the door without turning on the local news. He spent his commute listening to one of his favorite podcasts and checking texts and emails on his phone (but not while driving!) . When he got into the office, he headed to the kitchen, and as he began to fill a glass of water from the tap a coworker gasped and ask ed if he heard about the boil water notice . Immediately, concern set in and he began to wonder how he missed such a critical announcement. Unfortunately, this lack of public awareness is not an uncommon occurrence during a water quality incident. 
 
Many urban water u tilities are facing major challenges , including massive population growth, increasingly unpredictable weather patterns , and aging infrastructure. Austin Water is a world class utility organization operating under similar pressures and planning to
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Topics: communications

The surprising numbers behind mobile device usage

November 7, 2017
| By Ella Kobelt

For most Americans, owning a mobile phone isn’t a want or a need, but rather a must. According to Pew Research, over 95% of Americans own a mobile phone, two thirds being a smartphone. In fact, even Pew has strayed from landline surveys and now targets mobile outreach. Communication happens on those 5” touch screens more and more frequently, with no signs of slowing down.

Water utilities are already recognizing the importance of being able to communicate with their customers via mobile phone, though many struggle to obtain these numbers. A recent finding by the WaterSmart Software development team discovered that many water utilities don’t realize the volume of mobile phone numbers they already store. While testing the phone number validation tool, a feature of our Group Messenger Module, the team ran a trial on a current utility customer’s database, expecting to find 25-30% of the contact numbers to be mobile. Instead, the tool

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Topics: customer service

Software and The Importance of Customer Service

October 25, 2016
| By Dominique Gomez

WaterSmart is a software-as-a-service (Saas) company and a vendor to over 50 water utilities. As a company that employs a lean and mighty team of 40, we also make use of dozens of software providers to help us build our product, run our sales & marketing, and take care of our employees. Often we are able to learn a lot from our vendors – we take particular note when we experience a seamless onboarding processes, smart pricing plans, or great user interfaces. A recent customer service experience with a vendor was also a learning experience – mostly in what not to do.

WaterSmart is nearing the size at which we could save money by switching to a different health benefit and payroll structure. We’ve been pretty happy with our current provider, but it is a good practice to regularly evaluate other options as we grow. In considering other vendors, only one of the five companies we contacted thought they could save us money - I’ll call

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Topics: analytics

Water Information Innovation

May 19, 2015
| By Weston McBride

A key to the ongoing success of WaterSmart, or any start-up, is constant innovation, and we're trying to incite a revolution of water information innovation. It’s been a busy quarter for the product team where we’ve launched a bunch of great new product features and improvements based on customer feedback. We can’t wait for you to get a sip of our new solutions!

utility analytics

At the beginning of 2015, we released version 2.0 of our dashboard to all of our customers. The platform has industry-leading data insights, improved data accessibility, and the flexibility to accommodate specific needs of each of our utility partners. Some new analytic features include:

  • Report Subscriptions

It's often easier to receive periodic reports via email when new information becomes available. We now allow utilities to subscribe to periodic reports that are pushed right to their inbox. These reports allow you to actively monitor the water use

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