LADWP’s Customer Service Division Wins Quality and Productivity Awards

December 12, 2008

LADWP’s Customer Service Division Wins Quality and Productivity Awards

Customer Service Response Times Dramatically Improved

LOS ANGELES –  In recognition of its customer service performance and efficiency, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Customer Service Division received two 2008 Quality and Productivity Awards, honoring excellence in service from the City’s Quality and Productivity Commission.

LADWP’s Customer Contact Center earned the “Record Breaking Customer Contact Service Levels” award that showcased the stellar improvements in the high percentage of customer calls answered within 60 seconds.  The Remittance Processing Center was honored with the “Check 21 Processing Method” award, that highlighted the efficiency gains and cost-savings realized by automated imaging and processing of the customers’ payment checks.

“I am honored that the Department was recognized for our customer service efforts,” said LADWP CEO and General Manager David Nahai.  “We consistently strive to break new ground as an efficient, customer-focused organization, so this honor is particularly gratifying.  I want to thank the innovative leadership and diligent, hard work of the Customer Service organization for achieving these levels of service.  We have seen dramatic improvements in our operations this year, and we will continue to raise the bar for quality service and efficiency.

With the implementation of the Check 21 system, LADWP’s Remittance Processing Center is saving millions of dollars by depositing electronic checks to the City Treasurer for same-day investment.  This process will also save the LADWP in excess of $555,000 in personnel, equipment, maintenance and supplies costs.

“The Check 21 system has given us greater efficiency in our operations,” said John X. Chen, executive director of Customer Services.  “We have been able to decrease overall staffing levels, overtime pay, work on the transporter machine, and work-related injuries.  The ability to submit deposits to be invested the same day has a tremendous financial impact.”

The impact of the Customer Contact Center’s achievement has resulted in customers spending less time waiting for their calls to be answered.  The Call Center reached its goal this year by answering 92% of its customer calls within 60 seconds, and by reducing the amount of abandoned calls by 90%.

Chen credits his division with carefully reviewing and studying the telephone response process, leveraging resources to improve system efficiency, and increasing self-service options, while increasing employee morale.

According to Chen, these improvement were achieved with the support of Board President Lee Alpert and the Board of Water and Power Commissioners, which provided the policy framework, and the leadership of CEO and General Manager David Nahai, Chief Operating Officer Raman Raj and Chief Administrative Officer Cecilia Weldon.

“This was a teamwork effort.  We were given executive management’s support, the cooperation of the labor union, IBEW Local 18, and the diligence of the entire Customer Service Division working together.  I want to give special thanks to Account Services, Revenue Management, the Commercial Resource Center and the Customer Service Centers for their role in this achievement.”

Nahai said, “LADWP will maintain and expand upon these projects, and will continue to seek opportunities for greater efficiencies in Customer Services and throughout the Department.”

Each year the Customer Service Division receives 4.9 million customer service inquiries, answers 2.5 million phone calls, processes 6.2 million payments, reads 16.7 million meters, handles 602,000 on/off service requests, has a 99.8% Service Turn On Completion Rate, hosts 1.9 million web user sessions, and handles 154,000 Low Income, Life Support and Lifeline requests.