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             Date:  September 8, 2021                                  Position:  Customer Service Representative
Hourly Position: $21.08-$22.87                      Reporting To:  Customer Service Manager

GENERAL PURPOSE

 

Under supervision, performs a variety of routine to complex customer service functions including providing information, researching problems, reviewing customer accounts, conducting follow-up on problem accounts and performing collections and credit arrangements, by telephone and in person;  operates remittance processing and other equipment to process and record payments of customer water bills received by mail; reconciles and prepares bank deposits for payments processed and performs related duties as assigned.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

 

A Customer Service Representative provides a variety of services to the Authority’s increasingly diverse customer base and staff by telephone and in person, ranging from answering general water service questions, coordinating work slips and relaying information to field staff, providing information to handling difficult customer relations situations. Customer service representatives are responsible for receiving, processing and depositing customer payments of water bills received by mail or at the front counter, maintaining detailed reports and files. Personnel are responsible for customer payments on a daily basis according to KCWA policies and procedures. Work requires research and verification of proper customer accounts to ensure accurate payment processing.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES

 

The duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related or a logical assignment to this class.

Responds to customer transactions, customer requests in person or by telephone, mail and fax to initiate, add to or terminate residential and commercial water service accounts; obtains required account information data; enters the data into the Authority’s customer account system or other database; explains billing practices and rates; processes service turn-on or –off, shutoff for nonpayment, field work orders; verifies payment history with the Kent County Water Authority; computes required fees or tariff payment according to the posted PUC approved tariff structure and KCWA Rules and Regulations; records information in customer account records.

Answers correspondence and questions by telephone, e-mail and in person about utility bills and services; reviews consumption history; conducts research to answer customer inquiries; submits field work orders for meter re-reads and meter tests and investigation of water leaks and other problems; records service comments; reviews field results; estimates and recommends billing adjustments; submits documentation for payment plan or requests for refund checks if customers have overpaid; follows up with customers to provide information on actions taken.

Works with delinquent account customers to establish payment plan arrangements to avoid shut-off; prepares payment plan documents for signature.

Refers customers who are irate or who have complex, specialized or unusually sensitive account or credit situations to the appropriate manager or supervisory staff.

Provides backup in the processing of delinquent accounts and various reports.

Daily download of Lighthouse payment file and RI.Gov payment file into the Utility Billing software program. Also responsible for scanning checks received either through the mail or over the counter.

Prepares and maintains written correspondence to customers regarding payment errors and problems; forwards misdirected payments to other organizations; contacts customers or responds to customer inquiries regarding payments submitted; forwards customer correspondence to Customer Service Manager; researches and corrects payment posting errors.

Responds to conservation inquiries regarding general water and water conservation questions and refers calls to other staff, divisions or departments when appropriate; educates customers regarding programs and services; categorizes and creates work orders regarding reported water waste and ordinance violations; coordinates and provides training on KCWA’s organization and functions, operations and procedures for creating action tracking work orders, KCWA telephone and computer systems and conservation programs and services.

OTHER DUTIES

 

Participates in cross training and refresher training; assists in training new employees. 

Operate standard office equipment and software.

Maintains various program and state mandated reports and records as assigned.

Responds to a variety of customer e-mail inquiries, including requests for information on new service requirements and conservation programs; conducts research on returned mail; data enters address and name changes; property sale closings and shutoffs. 

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

 

Knowledge of:

Customer service practices and customer-oriented telephone etiquette; basic accounting and business mathematics standard office practices and procedures; sound business communication practices; correct English usage, including spelling, grammar and punctuation; Kent County Water Authority Rules and Regulations and meter service operations and issues; characteristics of the KCWA’s customer base, including typical causes for high consumption; policies and procedures for billing, collections and payment plans; and general operations.

Ability to:

Operate a networked computer terminal, multiline telephone equipment and other standard office equipment; handle tactfully and effectively sensitive customer relations situations and defuse situations that are highly emotional and volatile; quickly, efficiently and calmly handle a high volume of customer interactions by telephone and in person; interpret, explain and apply complex KCWA rules regarding water service rates and policies; reach sound decisions in accordance with rules and policies; understand and carry out written and oral instructions; communicate clearly and effectively orally and in writing; prepare clear, accurate and concise computer entries and basic correspondence; maintain sensitive and confidential information; use tact, discretion, patience and understanding in dealing with customers and the public; establish and maintain highly effective working relationships with KCWA staff, customers and others encountered in the course of work. Set priorities, schedule work assignments and coordinate with other staff so that all responsibilities are efficiently completed on time and within mandated deadlines.  Maintain records and files of various complexity levels.

Training and Experience:

A typical way of obtaining the knowledge, skills and abilities outlined above is graduation from high school or G.E.D. equivalent. One year of office administrative, customer service experience or specialized training program in the principal duties such as computer programs, accounting, business math, is desired or an equivalent combination of training and experience. Experience in customer service functions in a government or public utility setting is highly desirable.

A new hire Customer Service representative is normally advanced upon satisfactory completion of the probationary period and division’s training program, having demonstrated proficiency in competently performing all major customer service functions within the division’s areas of assigned responsibility.

PHYSICAL & MENTAL DEMANDS

 

The physical and mental demands described here are associates of those that must be met by employees to successfully perform the essential functions of this class. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Physical Demands:

While performing the duties of this class, employees are regularly required to sit; talk or listen, both in person and by telephone; and use hands repetitively to operate, finger, handle or feel office equipment; and reach with hands and arms.

Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance and the ability to adjust focus.

Mental Demands:


While performing the duties of this class, employees are regularly required to use written and oral communication skills; read and interpret complex data and information; make arithmetic calculations; analyze and solve customer problems; observe and interpret situations; learn and apply new information; rapidly perform highly detailed work on multiple concurrent tasks; work with constant interruptions; interact with Kent County Water Authority staff, customers who are often upset and dissatisfied and the general public.

 

WORK ENVIRONMENT

 

The work environment characteristics described here are associates of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this class. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Employee’s work under office conditions involving a public counter and high telephone volume; and the noise level is moderately quiet.

Employee performance is subject to random, periodic work monitoring, including telephone and front counter communication skills monitoring as well as quality sampling of correspondence and applications processed and adjustments made to accounts, work slip processing, remittance processing, maintenance of various mandated records and reports.

 

  Contact Information

Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am to 4pm
  Phone: (401) 821-9300
  Fax: (401) 823-4810
  Email Customer Service

1072 Main Street
PO Box 192
West Warwick, RI 02893-0192
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