City Moving Forward after Utility Billing Audit

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Friday, October 13th, 2017

The City of Savannah is committed to improving its utility billing collections and rebuilding trust with the community by enhancing customer service. That was the focus of today’s Utility Billing Assessment presentation at a City Council workshop.

In May 2017 the City contracted with KPMG to conduct a third-party audit of the City’s utility billing and collections operations. The City felt an audit was necessary to examine challenges the City faced after moving to a new billing system in early 2016. The challenges included delays in billing and a decrease in customer satisfaction.

KPMG issued a final report to the City earlier this month identifying the challenges the City’s utility billing and recommendations on how to improve. The report focused on five key areas:

1. Increasing staffing and improving employee training

2. Using technology to improve the customer experience and boost customer relations

3. Investing in better meter reading technology, insuring efficient routes

4. Making online billing more user-friendly

5. Better tracking of billing and collection of delinquent bills

“The City has been working diligently since before the final report came out to improve our utility billing processes,” said Internal Auditing Director Megan Duffy. “We want to rebuild trust with our nearly 80,000 customers and improve their customer experience. That means providing them more information online, making online billing more user-friendly and having better trained staff to respond to their questions and complaints. We also plan to move forward with improving technology to make meter-reading more efficient.”