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Building Public Trust with Customer Communication Touchpoint Tracking

February 29, 2024
3
Min Read
Woman across the table from 2 men talking

In today’s changing and dynamic environment, communicating with ratepayers is top of mind for most utilities. Providing a great communication experience not only keeps ratepayers informed, but also shapes a utility’s public perception, and can help improve operational efficiency. However, managing all of the data surrounding communication events can be difficult. A single communication event might include parameters such as the date and time an outreach occurred, the method of the outreach (was a mailer sent? a phone call made? something else?), the resident’s response, and so much more.

Wrangling all of this data and building an auditable database is going to be even more critical when the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA’s) proposed Lead and Copper Rule Improvements (LCRI) take effect. The LCRI mandates and reinforces rules surrounding outreach to ratepayers in the areas of lead service line replacements, water quality sampling, and school and daycare sampling programs. Utilities will be on the hook for not only conducting these outreach events, but also documenting them. Take lead service line replacements, for example, where the LCRI requires utilities to make four communication attempts, with two different methods, to property owners regarding service line replacement.

Communication tracking requirements extend beyond service replacements. The LCRI reaffirms requirements to reach out to residents with tap samples above the action limit, through the find-and-fix program (now called the Distribution System and Site Assessment program). Additionally, utilities are required to track their outreach to schools and daycares for sampling efforts. If a school or daycare refuses sampling, or does not respond after two outreach attempts, the facility does not need to be sampled and this must be logged for submission.

While staying compliant with regulations is incredibly important, there are other benefits to a robust communication program. Lead service line replacement progress can be advanced with proactive communication. Trinnex® worked with a utility to communicate the ability to sign up for replacements with our digital right of entry and was able to capture over 5,000 forms within a month. This reduced the burden on contractors to obtain these forms.

Utilities will need to utilize a defensible, well-organized database of communication events that can be reported on to meet these requirements. This is where leadCAST® can help! leadCAST includes a communication touchpoint tracking feature that allows utilities to log details about communication events including:

  • Program name and type
  • Contact provider and data/time of contact
  • Contact method and if that method is a qualified attempt per the LCRI
  • Resident name and response
  • Notes regarding the interaction
  • File upload and links

The details of the communication events are visible on each property, so that the context of past campaigns is always visible for future communication events. Additionally, utilities can export a log of all of their communication events for use in reporting and auditing.

Touchpoint tracking is just one way that leadCASTTM helps utilities communicate with and educate their ratepayers. leadCAST also features a robust public portal for customers to order water tests, submit service line material inspections, and more. Additionally, leadCAST has a public map that serves to inform ratepayers about their service line and meets the LCRR mapping requirements for utilities serving over 50,000 residents.

Don’t let compliance weigh you down. leadCAST streamlines communication, enhances public engagement, and ensures seamless reporting. Reach out today to explore how leadCAST can transform your utility’s communication processes and make compliance a breeze!

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Written by
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Aaron Englehart
Product Management Specialist
|
He/Him
Aaron is part of the leadCAST product team, a civil engineer, and passionate about utilizing software to improve infrastructure.

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