Customer Relations Specialist Career Path

City of Boynton Beach, FL
Published
January 22, 2023
Location
Boynton Beach, FL
Job Type
 

Description

Purpose of Classification The purpose of this classification is to provide optimal front line services to customers. Front line customer services include four (4) functional areas: Customer Relations, Billing, Meter Services, and Capital Development and Backflow. Employees in this classification are eligible for noncompetitive career path advancement to Customer Relations Specialist II after meeting the established career path advancement requirements.
Essential Functions The following duties and functions, as outlined herein, are intended to be representative of the type of tasks performed within this classification. They are not listed in any order of importance. The omission of specific statements of the duties or functions does not exclude them from the classification if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment for this classification. Other duties may be required and assigned.

Communicates with customers, peers, supervisors, and managers electronically, by telephone and in person.

Utilizes billing system to maintain data, generate reports, create bills, establish service, and perform backflow maintenance,

Utilizes Property Appraiser system and other resources or records to verify addresses, map locations, to obtain ownership, verify service area, and services needed.

Reviews month-end account reports, consumption reports, and billing charts.

Drafts account payment agreements for utility accounts.

The following essential functions are listed by and are representative of functions performed in the divisional areas of assignment within the Utilities department.

CUSTOMER RELATIONS:

Conducts basic bill investigations using billing systems, meter reading system database, and payment systems.

Provides information regarding City services, billing inquiries and customer accounts; schedules customer appointments as directed.

Explains Utility Guide information and Customer Account Policy to customers, including account initiation requirements, billing errors, high consumption, water pressure, conservation, and property responsibility versus Utility responsibility.

Coordinates the set-up of new service accounts; receives and processes initial deposits.

Reviews customer account applications, service changes, delinquent accounts, and work orders.

Prepares adjustment requests to credit and debit customer accounts.

Updates customer account information as needed, which includes e-mail, mailing address and phone number.

Processes lien searches for outstanding balances.

Coordinates the opening and closing of work orders with proper codes, charges and notations.

Dispatches calls for water leaks and other utility system investigations; assists field staff with questions and account information.

BILLING

Prepares customer accounts for monthly billing of services, including water, sewer, stormwater, refuse and reuse. Maintains customer accounts and updates billing cycle information.

Runs cycle bills for all customers; uses reports to confirm and ensure billing accuracy.

Runs initial, final, off cycle and deposit bills.

Transfers and closes out accounts; processes refunds; reviews delinquent and bankruptcy accounts and takes appropriate action; researches illegal water consumption accounts.

Assists in analyzing utility bills by generating billing reports, reviewing high/low readings, and drafting necessary billing adjustments.

Notifies customers in advance of high bills.

METER SERVICES

Reviews equipment work orders, meter readings, customer lists, billing reports, and other reports to determine if a field investigation is required and if system information needs correction. Creates, processes and closes work orders for meter replacements, repairs, re-reads, and zero consumption in order for bill processing to continue without error.

Reads routes in Meter Database including transferring data to Excel for field verification work; enters the data into billing software.

Communicates with customers regarding meter sets; Assists with status and appointments and verifies readiness for meter set.

Frequently uses reports for verification of equipment links, meters, registers, and related links in order for processes to continue smoothly.

Uploads and downloads data between the utility billing system and the meter data system to facilitate billing.

Reviews exception reports and takes action to ensure the most efficient billing.

Identifies meter errors and makes corrections to maintain automated reading efficiency above 98%.

Reviews other various reports to ensure that meters are working properly and any variations are investigated through work order processes.

Identifies errors for billing staff to correct and notify customers of potential issues with consumption related billing.

CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT AND BACKFLOW

Collects and processes payments for water meter deposits, utility connection and capital facility fees, monthly utility bills, and delinquent accounts. Prepares information and cost estimates for potential customers.

Explains the process for new customers, developers, contractors, etc.

Verifies service availability.

Establishes new utility service accounts.

Prepares water service agreements and related paperwork for execution.

Answers questions from contractors and developers; continues capital development process assisting customers with surveys and related customer connection issues.

Works with Utility Engineering division in regard to capital development, keeping track of capital facility charges and status of projects through meter set.

Works with the City Building Department for any internal City Capital projects, and ensures Utility requirements are met, via surveys, inspections and signoffs prior to meter set.

Dispatches all non-customer water leak field related situations. Examples include wastewater backups, unknown utility situations, sink holes, and large water main breaks. Keeps records on the dispatch events for follow up and historical tracking to identify areas of infrastructure concern.

Utilizes database to manage backflow equipment inventory due date for inspection and re-certification program; adds new units to the system. Utilizes inventory tracking within the billing software for expiration of units. Creates and manages backflow certification renewal letters to customers and updates in tracking system for follow-up including repairs, replacements and compliance; works closely with backflow certification staff and report review staff for continual maintenance of the backflow database.

Performs other related duties as required.
Minimum Qualifications

  • High school diploma or valid equivalent; and
  • Two (2) years of previous customer relations and billing experience; and
  • Must possess (or able to obtain within fourteen (14) days of hire) and maintain a valid Florida driver's license.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS
Minimum Qualifications for education and experience must be met before consideration of the following Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bilingual English/Spanish
  • Experience with the SunGard governmental sector CIS Module and meter reading database. Utilities customer relations and account billing experience.

Supplemental Information COMMUNICATION COMPETENCIES

Effectively communicates with supervisor, employees, other departments, contractors, engineers, utility companies, vendors, outside agencies, the public, and other individuals as needed to coordinate work activities, review status of work, exchange information, or resolve problems.

Accurately, consistently and expeditiously receives and delivers messages and information to the appropriate individuals.

Ability to prepare accurate and thorough written records and reports.

Ability to understand and follow oral and written instructions and to complete assigned tasks with minimal supervisory direction.

Ability to understand and quickly and accurately follow brief oral and written instructions on moderately complex matters.

Ability to establish and maintain harmonious relationships with Supervisor, customers, other employees, other departments, other governmental and regulatory agencies, and the general public as needed.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES

Basic knowledge of the various avenues of acquiring property; is able to identify common ways to transfer property ownership.

Basic knowledge of delinquency and debt accumulation as it pertains to property, demonstrates understanding between owner balances and tenant balances, and when each one can be collected.

Basic knowledge of monthly billing processes/cycle billing, and fees associated with the monthly bills. Can distinguish the various categories of billing, and the differences, including inside and outside City limits, the services provided, the rate differences, usage rates and flat rates.

Basic knowledge of all that entails billing based on consumption; Understands the concepts of usage rates and tiered rate structures and conservation rates; Identifies bulk usage rates and supporting documentation.

Basic knowledge of account change over; demonstrates the requirements when account changes are requested.

Basic knowledge of when to terminate and initiate an account for a property and how to produce the appropriate paperwork.

Basic knowledge of Palm Beach County Property Appraiser records filing, searches, and policies, and what data is available.

Basic knowledge of utilities and the implications on properties, whether commercial or residential, understanding the existence of various statutes related to public utilities and responsibilities.

Ability to provide consistent optimal customer service in a respectful and courteous manner.

Basic knowledge of real estate practices and property ownership; awareness of the responsibilities and the supporting laws that govern.

Ability to effectively resolve a wide range of problems, whether with a customer or within the system.

Ability to conduct basic bill investigations on delinquency and debt accumulation, payments, and on consumption investigations using SunGard and the meter reading data base.

Ability to effectively and accurately share knowledge of duties with coworkers.

Basic knowledge of mathematic and accounting principles with attention to accuracy.

Knowledge of basic concepts of bankruptcy and write-off.

Ability to consistently comply with policy, process, and procedural changes with accuracy.

PHYSICAL & SENSORY REQUIREMENTS / ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS

Physical Ability : Tasks require the ability to exert light physical effort in sedentary to light work, but which may involve some lifting, carrying, pushing and/or pulling of objects and materials of light weight (10 pounds). Tasks may involve extended periods of time at a keyboard or work station.

Sensory Requirements : Tasks require the ability to perceive and discriminate sounds, and visual cues or signals. Tasks require the ability to communicate orally.

Environmental Factors : Essential functions are regularly performed without exposure to adverse environmental conditions.

The City of Boynton Beach, Florida, is an Equal Opportunity Employer. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S. C. 12101 et. seq.), the City of Boynton Beach will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities and encourages both prospective and current employees to discuss potential accommodations with the employer. The physical demands described are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

A review of this position has excluded the marginal functions of the position that are incidental to the performance of fundamental job duties. All duties and responsibilities are essential job functions and requirements are subject to possible modifications to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities. To perform this job successfully, the incumbent(s) will possess the abilities and aptitudes to perform each duty proficiently. Some requirements may exclude individuals who pose a direct threat of significant risk to the health or safety of themselves or others. Requirements are representative of the minimum level of knowledge, skills, and ability.

CAREER PATH ADVANCEMENT REQUIREMENTS:

Current employees may be considered for progression into a higher Customer Relations Specialist level based on meeting the career path qualifications and requirements. Newly hired employees may be considered for placement into a higher Customer Relations Specialist level based on verification of the individual meeting the minimum qualifications of the level.

The following requirements must be met to advance to, or be hired as a Customer Relations Specialist II:

  • Associates degree in Public Administration, Business Management, Communications or a closely related field and two (2) years of previous Utilities customer relations and account billing experience; or
  • High school diploma or valid equivalent and four (4) years of previous Utilities customer relations and account billing experience.
  • Must meet 100% of the Level I KSAs, 70% of the Level II KSAs and 100% of the Communication Competencies.
  • Must complete an assessment in two (2) of the four (4) functional areas of the position (Customer Relations, Billing, Meter Reading, and Capital Development and Backflow) with a minimum score of 70%. Employees who fail to obtain a minimum score of 70% will have a three (3) month waiting period to re-take the assessment.

Proof of meeting all of the above requirements/qualifications must be demonstrated by the candidate and verified by the Customer Relations Supervisor.

The following requirements must be met to advance to, or be hired as a Customer Relations Specialist III:

  • Associates degree in Public Administration, Business Management, Communications or a closely related field and five (5) years of previous Utilities customer relations and account billing experience; or
  • High school diploma or valid equivalent and seven (7) years of previous Utilities customer relations and account billing experience;
  • Demonstrates proficiency in the performance of the Levels I through III essential functions of all four (4) of the functional areas of the position Customer Relations, Billing, Meter Reading, and Capital Development and Backflow) and the communication competencies.
  • Must meet 100% of Levels I & II KSAs, 70% of Level III KSAs and 100% of the Communication Competencies.
  • Must complete an assessment in all four (4) functional areas of the position (Customer Relations, Billing, Meter Reading, and Capital Development and Backflow) with a minimum score of 70%. Employees who fail to obtain a minimum score of 70% will have a three (3) month waiting period to re-take the assessment.

Proof of meeting all of the above requirements/qualifications must be demonstrated by the candidates and verified by the Customer Relations Supervisor.

VETERANS' PREFERENCE

Certain servicemembers and veterans, and the spouses and family members of such servicemembers and veterans, receive preference and priority in the City's hiring process. Additionally, certain servicemembers may be eligible to receive waivers for postsecondary educational requirements in employment by the City.

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