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Customer Success Story
City of San Diego Water Department Profile
San Diego maintains and operates more than 3,302 miles of water lines, 49 water pump plants, 90-plus pressure zones, and more than 200 million gallons of potable water storage capacity in 32 standpipes, elevated tanks, and concrete and steel reservoirs.
Business Challenge
The City's Water Department needed a supremely reliable voice recording system that would record 100% of all their incoming and outgoing calls.
Solution Overview
The City of San Diego Water Department chose VPI system's full time recording and superb search and retrieval functions.

VPI Reassures the City of San Diego Water Department with 100% Recording

The City of San Diego continues to expand and grow, and the number of the city's water and sewer customers grows right along with it. This means that the daily volume of billing questions and requests for service, both routine and emergency, increases correspondingly. When the City's Water Department needed a supremely reliable communications recording system that would record 100% of all their incoming and outgoing calls, they chose VPI.

“It's been an extremely useful system, and that's why our Business Tax Group is so anxious to get their own VPI system installed - to be able to go back and say, 'This is what was said'!"

City of San Diego Water Department

Business Profile

Following a vote of the people, the City of San Diego entered the municipal water supply business in 1901 when the City bought the water system from a private company. More than 100 years later, San Diego's water infrastructure has become one of the most complex in the United States. Today, the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department serves more than 1.3 million people populating more than 200 square miles of developed land.

In addition to our three water treatment plants, San Diego maintains and operates more than 3,302 miles of water lines, 49 water pump plants, 90-plus pressure zones, and more than 200 million gallons of potable water storage capacity in 32 standpipes, elevated tanks, and concrete and steel reservoirs.

Challenge

At the San Diego Water Department, all the water or sewer related calls that come in from the public are routed by their Aspect ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) system to the Department's customer service call center. According to Jaci Gibson-Henrie, the Systems Administrator, "The incoming calls could be about billing - high bills, low bills, calls reporting water leaks - basically anything the public is concerned about regarding their water service." Several of the agents answering those calls specialize in water or sewer service requests and handle the subsequent radio dispatch functions as well, sending crews out to deal with the problem. Of the approximately 2,000 calls that come in to the service center each day, about 300 are calls for service, some of them emergencies.

The City of San Diego continues to expand and grow, and the number of the city's water and sewer customers grows right along with it. This means that the daily volume of billing questions and requests for service, both routine and emergency, increases correspondingly. The City's Water Department needed a supremely reliable voice recording system that would record 100% of all their incoming and outgoing calls.

Solution

Whether a call relates to a water bill or a ruptured water main, the agents taking those calls need training and quality monitoring to insure that the City's customers are treated professionally. And there's no better tool for training than listening to recordings of an agent's interactions with customers. That's where the VPI system's full time recording and superb search and retrieval functions come into play. It makes it easy for authorized supervisors to systematically sample and evaluate their agents' calls right from their desks, since the VPI system is available to them at their desktop PC over the LAN (Local Area Network). As important as quality assurance and training are, probably the most valuable aspect of having 100% of those customer interactions available is for veriï¬cation of what actually occurred during speciï¬c calls. "When you have an irate customer on the phone, our supervisor can queue up the call, hold the receiver up to the PC speaker and play the conversation back," explains Gibson-Henrie. "That usually defuses the situation quickly."

Hearing your own voice is very convincing. Of course sometimes it's the agent that has made a mistake, and when that happens "you're going to go back and say 'I'm sorry you were presented with the wrong information.'" Either way, the VPI system provides an objective record of what took place. "Memory is a fragile thing," observes Gibson-Henrie. "Ten minutes from now, could you really remember what you actually said?"

With Homeland Security concerns, the stakes can be very high indeed. "We're responsible for the safety of the water supply," commented Gibson-Henrie. "If a threat comes in to the water system, we don't have to rely on an agent to remember to push the emergency button [triggering the ACD system to start recording]. The call is always recorded from the time they pick up the receiver." That guarantee of 100% recording is very reassuring.

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