New Technology Quickly Answers Customer Questions

AI touch screenLouisville Water’s Call Center is using new technology with an artificial intelligence (AI) component to quickly answer customers’ questions when they call about monthly billing.

Louisville Water began billing customers every other month during World War II. The company is now moving back to monthly billing by upgrading everyone to advanced meters. This project started in 2020. In Jefferson County, about 98% of our customers now have upgraded meters that are equipped with wireless capabilities to send data to Louisville Water receivers, which facilitates monthly billing and makes it easy for customers to monitor their water consumption through the Pure Connect portal.

When installers go to a new area to begin replacing meters, customers are notified by postcard. When the system is fully in place, thoroughly tested, and monthly billing can begin, the customers receive an email to notify them the change is taking place, but some customers miss this message and end up calling Louisville Water to find out why they’re receiving a bill every month.

That’s where the new technology comes in: The system recognizes customer calls from an area that recently started receiving monthly bills, anticipates the customers’ questions, and proactively provides an AI-generated voice that explains why the frequency of their bills has changed. Since Louisville Water began using this technology in late April, the system has proactively informed more than 1,000 customers who called about monthly billing.

According to Customer Service Director Megan Hancock, the technology quickly gives customers the information they need and helps streamline call center operations. It also reduces wait time for customers in other areas to talk to customer service representatives. Of course, customers who recently started receiving monthly bills may be calling about a different issue, and they still can talk to a representative if they wish.

The new technology is the latest feature added to a completely new “smarter” phone system the call center installed late last year. Now, “2024 is looking very exciting as far as leveraging more AI-based enhancements to make it easier for the employee as well as the customer to get the information they need,” Hancock said.