Thoughts

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

Topics: customer communications

Social Media Best Practices for Water Utilities

April 29, 2020
| By Avril Dalin

In today's day and age, social media has left no industry untouched. Every brand, company, product, city, and movement has a social media presence. It's changed the way we interact with the world and the way we receive information. Social media provides businesses the opportunity to build their brand, nurture customer relationships, and share information in a rapid and cost effective manner. JD Power’s 2018 study has shown that employing multiple channels of communication leads to an increase in satisfaction rates of 14.8% among utility customers. These are benefits the water industry cannot afford to leave untapped, especially with 79% of American adults present online and with customer engagement and satisfaction becoming bigger priorities for utilities. Thankfully, with proper planning and preparation, social media might just be the missing piece to a successful total customer engagement strategy.

 

Fostering Positive Feedback
To
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Topics: digital engagement

Navigating the Path to AMI

March 4, 2020
| By Matt Finkle

On February 5th, the American Water Works Association released “AWWA’s Best Practices for AMI System Rollout as learned by the FGUA” exploring the Florida Governmental Utility Authority’s experience transitioning 27,500 manual meters to Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). The article highlights lessons learned from the AMI project and best practices for other utilities to consider. With the analysis largely focusing on the design, construction and operational components of an AMI rollout, there was a gap for additional best practices utilities should incorporate for a successful AMI implementation and to drive long-term value from the investment.

Communicating the value of AMI

Because AMI implementations can take years to complete, it is beneficial to communicate the end-user benefits well in advance to avoid delays and backlash from customers. Utilities must incorporate a proactive customer engagement strategy to support

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Topics: utility culture

The Retirement Wave is Coming: How will you manage?

August 13, 2019
| By Ali Barsamian
Our lives run on water. It is hard to imagine a day without a steady flow and luckily, in America it is rare we have to consider the possibility. For that security, we must be thankful for the hard-working water utility professionals that spend their days ensuring we have continued access to safe and reliable drinking water. These professionals play a vital role in protecting public health. And for this reason, maintaining a consistent and reliable workforce is incredibly crucial. Thus, a substantial wave of impending retirements in an industry facing recruiting challenges should be cause for concern.
 
It is projected that in the next 10 years, 37 percent of the water utility workers will retire . This is a substantial percentage of the workforce needing to be replenished.  As a result, utility senior management must be prepared to do one of two things: do more with less and/or implement programs that will help them to attract and
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Topics: data anlytics

The Tide Is Turning: A Digital Revolution in Water

January 3, 2019
| By Kevin Kern
 

Many of you have likely been hearing about the “Digital Transformation of Water Utilities.” Everything from Advanced Metering Infrastructure, to distribution network sensors, to modern customer communication systems are driving a wave of acceptance and adoption of new digital technologies throughout the water sector. 

Technology innovation is continuing to disrupt the water sector leading utilities to explore new ways of communicating and engaging with customers. In an environment of constrained resources, utility leaders are also evaluating new approaches to improve operational resilience, particularly in the Western United States where water stress is no longer the exception, but rather the rule.  These same water utilities need to find new ways to effectively communicate with the consumer base to enhance good will, improve customer satisfaction, and gain the political support needed to make ongoing investments in

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