Shift to the cloud improves the utility’s customer experience and agility to respond to future needs.
RICHARDSON, Texas – Vertex, a leader in utility customer experience solutions, today announced that Lee County Utilities, a division of the Department of Public Utilities in Lee County in Southwest Florida, has completed implementation of a new cloud CIS and customer web and mobile self-service solution. The major upgrade, implemented in just nine months, provides Lee County with the immediate ability to improve customer experience while streamlining operations and supporting its long-term goals.
“With Vertex, we’re not just making our customers happier today; we have an agile platform to meet our future needs,” said Peter J. Cloutier, business operations manager in the Lee County Department of Public Utilities. “The cloud model works great for us. Vertex manages the technology, and we get to focus on our core priority: serving our customers.”
“Cloud is changing the way utilities do business, and we’re thrilled to see Lee County elevate its customer service with an eye toward the future,” said Andrew Jornod, chief executive officer of Vertex. “Lee County is at the forefront of utilities moving to the cloud, and will see the benefits of the cloud’s agility, guaranteed service levels and a predictable cost of ownership for many years to come.”
A Cloud CIS Platform for Customer Happiness
Lee County approached Vertex when its ageing CIS – a 16-year-old platform that had never been upgraded – prevented it from providing a modern experience for its customers. Changes and updates were costly with little return on investment, and any upgrade would require significant new hardware. During an evaluation, Lee County decided it no longer wanted to worry about IT infrastructure management and chose to look for a partner to carry this burden.
In September 2016, Lee County upgraded to a new CIS platform fully hosted and managed by Vertex – a major expansion of the two companies’ existing partnership. The platform went live within just nine months of the kick-off meeting with the Vertex team.
Lee County’s new cloud CIS allows it to better focus on both happier customers and its own operations. Vertex hosts and manages the solution, while also keeping the technology up to date. Customer service agents now have access to more information than ever through an intuitive user interface, allowing them to better serve customers. The benefits extend to back-office staff. With access to comprehensive exception handling and workflow management capabilities, it is easier for them to ensure customers receive accurate bills in a timely fashion.
Providing Choices to Customers with Self-Service Features
Lee County was also eager to provide customers easy-to-use self-service features. It was drawn to the VertexOne Web & Mobile Self-Service for Utilities solution because of its deep integration with its new CIS.
With this solution, customers can access up to 25 months of consumption and billing history – something they never had before. This has reduced support calls and freed up time for service agents to deal with more complex inquiries. Within the first month, Lee County’s customers completed more than 300,000 transactions using the new solution, including account updates, payments, account status and billing inquiries and service requests.
“Customer response has been fantastic,” said Cloutier. “With VertexOne, we can provide the options our customers need, with self-service features available 24/7 from whatever device they prefer.”
Dedicated solely to the utilities industry, Vertex Business Services is a recognized leader in customer experience solutions. Vertex serves millions of customers for over 50 electric, gas and water clients across North America. Through a wide range of innovative services and solutions—from the VertexOne Software as a Service platform, to consulting and analytics, to BPO and customer experience outsourcing—Vertex helps utilities more efficiently deliver a compelling customer experience. For more information, visit www.vertexone.net.