Salary: Commiserate with experience
Close date: Ongoing Recruitment
The Department of Watershed Management is a regional public water and wastewater utility serving 1.2 million people each day. The Department’s core services include treatment and distribution of safe drinking water; collection and treatment of wastewater to a high standard; management of watershed within the City of Atlanta; and customer care and billing services for 164,000 accounts. The Department’s vision of being a leader in innovation, service and value is supported by eight strategic priorities including: Service Delivery, Infrastructure Reliability, Workforce Development, Operational Efficiency, Financial Resilience, Compliance, Digital Transformation; and Safety, Security and Emergency Management.
The Deputy Commissioner of Office of Customer Care and Billing Services (OCCBS) reports to and is responsible for supporting the Commissioner in the implementation of the Department of Watershed Management’s vision, mission, core values and strategic business plans including development and annual updates to a Service Delivery strategy. The Deputy Commissioner is also responsible for directing, supervising and providing strategic leadership for the divisions within OCCBS including:
Account Management and Billing
Customer Assurance and Satisfaction
Customer Care (customer service centers)
Project Management & Strategic Audit and Analysis
Customer Service Administration & Service Delivery
Oversees all aspects of billing for water and sewer services, account maintenance, billing quality control, payment collections, billing dispute resolution, meter field operations, and customer relations. Develops and maintains policies and procedures for metering, billing, and collections.
Oversees work load assignments; coordinates activities with other City departments and the public; provides direct and indirect supervision of staff.
Directs market insight generation, customer experience, and dispute resolution programs. Leads process and technology innovations.
Expected to exercise considerable judgment in supervising, coordinating, and monitoring the work of staff assigned to the Office of Customer Care and Billing Services. The incumbent is expected to ensure work quality and accuracy and oversees the maintenance of over 160,000 accounts.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities These are typical responsibilities for this position and should not be construed as exclusive or all inclusive. May perform other duties as assigned.
Provides strategic and operating direction to the Office of Customer Care and Billing Services. Establishes priorities and plans for execution. Tracks and reports account information and performance against service level agreements.
Leads account establishment, meter reading and complex billing policies and processes. Directs customer experience strategies and dispute resolution and appeals processes.
Leads customer outreach initiatives and service and technology innovations such as automated meter reading and enhancements to the meter reading infrastructure.
Manages Office staff selection, deployment and development. Provides coaching and employee relations counseling.
Serves as an active member of the department senior leadership team. Works collaboratively with peers and diverse stakeholders to advance strategic and operational objectives.
Acts as a primary point of contact and escalation for all customer operations related queries and issues. Manages escalations by ensuring correct resources are driving their resolution and stakeholders are informed of status and progress.
Create and manage high level KPI that measure the true health of the meter to cash process and use those KPI to drive business decisions to improve Customer Operation performance:
Utilize new technologies (i.e. IVR, Customer Management System, Meter Reading Database, mobility platform) to measure process and resource performance, report results, and manage efficiencies accordingly.
Lead updates to customer information system for billing rate increases/changes to ensure accurate billing.
Drive the collection and documentation of call handling quality monitoring and coaching employees accordingly.
Ensure smooth introduction of new services to customers through appropriate communication, stakeholder engagement, and provision of training.
Identify, analyze and review customer impact of proposed service changes, minimizing any adverse effects of service performance.
Participate in vendor selection process for new services as needed.
Establish effective cross-department processes and procedures, where necessary, to support and deliver effective utility metering, billing and collection services.
Oversight of utility customer call center and walk-in locations for optimal customer service and timely resolution of customer issues.
Work collaboratively with DWM Deputy Commissioners and other Department Managers to identify and execute on potential service enhancements and opportunities.
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities This is a partial listing of necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform the job successfully. It is not an exhaustive list.
Knowledge of utility meter operations, customer billing and relations policies and processes for a public water utility.
Knowledge of operational and technology planning, business and data analysis, and project management.
Excellent leadership skills. Ability to select, deploy and develop a large team to achieve results. Skill in developing managerial and leadership skills in subordinate technical and operating staff.
Effective verbal and written communication skills. Dispute resolution and diplomacy. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with direct reports and public officials.
Ability to manage multiple priorities and projects. Ability to maintain composure and meet deadlines in stressful situations. Self-reliant. Able to adapt to change.
Ability to synthesize data and translate insights into relevant, actionable, strategic, and tactical recommendations.
Strong emphasis on process adherence.
Demonstrated ability to work both autonomously and as part of a team in a fast-paced environment.
Advanced Excel. Strong analytical skills. Attention to detail.
Proficiency in Enquesta Customer Care and Billing preferred.
Minimum Qualifications – Education and Experience
Bachelor’s degree in business or public administration, communications, public relations, or a related field
A minimum of ten years of progressive business experience with customer service related management, preferably dealing with billing, collection, and payment management (or equivalent on the job experience). Two or more years supervising a customer billing function for 75,000 or more accounts.
Preferred Education & Experience
Master’s degree in business or public administration, public relations, communication, or a related field. Supervisory experience for a customer billing function for over 100,000 Accounts. Three or more years of water sector or other private utility experience focused on customer account management.
Experience with technology implementation and water industry management.