Public Utility Customer Service Representative

Updated Closing Date
Under general supervision, serves water and refuse utility customers by taking phone calls and hearing in-person residents’ requests for city-provided or contracted utility information and services, and billing inquiries and concerns; uses a computerized utility financial system to enter, update and retrieve information about requests for service and inquiries regarding billing and payments; tracks requests to improve organizational effectiveness; and performs related administrative and clerical duties as required.

Examples of Duties:
Duties may include, but are not limited to the following activities:
  • Speaks with residents or processes e-mail requests about the City’s public water and refuse collection utility services and billing issues to determine the nature of the reported problem or concern and suggests actions the resident may take or directing the request to the Water Resources and/or Public Works Departments
  • Uses the City’s public utility financial computer program to enter and retrieve information and maintain and update database records, assists residents experiencing difficulty resolving utility service and billing related problems
  • Contacts residents to record their level of satisfaction with the City’s handling of their service request
  • Prepares monthly, quarterly, and annual reports of service request information
  • Checks utility records, papers, documents and other material for clerical and arithmetic accuracy and compliance with established standards and procedures
  • Provides information and assistance in person, over the telephone, or by e-mail regarding water and refuse collection procedures, programs and complaints
  • Answers routine requests for information by mailing material or sending form letters
  • Receives, sorts and distributes departmental mail
  • Performs routine administrative and clerical tasks such as copying, assembling, stuffing, mailing, filing, database entry, report preparation, faxing, telephoning and typing using variety of office equipment and computer software
  • Assists other department personnel
  • Performs other duties as assigned

Qualifications:
Education & Experience: Any combination of education and training that provides the foregoing knowledge, skills and abilities is qualifying. A typical example would be graduation from high school diploma or GED equivalent, and one year of customer service experience, preferably in public utility billing. Experience with water and refuse collection and billing is highly desirable.

License: Must posses a valid California Class C Driver's License issued by the State Department of Motor Vehicles and a good driving record.

Knowledge of: Objectives and techniques involved in providing positive customer service; telephone and receptionist techniques; windows-based word processing software (MS Word preferred) and a variety of window-based applications; computer data entry; information processing practices and procedures including business correspondence, filing and standard office equipment operation; correct English usage, grammar, spelling and punctuation; knowledge of municipal public utility services, billing, and customer service procedures, practices and principles, and public utility financial database entry and retrieval of utility customer information and billing.

Skills & Abilities to: Ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with the public, fellow employees and agency/contractor personnel in situations requiring tact, empathy and diplomacy; identify problems presented and their causes and be innovative in problem solving; communicate well in person and on the telephone including the use of effective listening skills; remain calm and deal empathetically with residents who may be angry, upset or agitated about service-related problems; serve as a customer advocate while maintaining strong, professional relationships with the utility service departments, agencies and contractors; learn and apply the department’s policies, procedures and instructions for utility bill processing; learn to carry out special procedures for taking and responding to all types of utility related service requests; efficiently and accurately enter and retrieve data from the city’s computerized water and refuse collection utility financial system; accurately process detailed paperwork involving the use of independent judgment; e-mail and Lakewood Online website; learn computer software programs used in the position; and, accurately and productively operate organizational groupware or email, database, PC-based faxing, calendaring and related work.

Physical and Mental Demands: Ability to see and hear within normal ranges and dexterity to read, write, type, operate office equipment such as a computer, telephone, calculator, copier, fax machine, pencils, pens, scissors, stapler; ability to drive a vehicle, be at work daily and on time, communicate orally, in writing and over the telephone; understand written and verbal directions. Ability to lift and carry up to 25 pounds, stand, walk, and sit for extended periods of time.

Supplemental Information:
Selection Procedure: All properly submitted applications will be reviewed and evaluated. Those candidates appearing to have the best qualifications for the position will be invited to participate in the examination process which may require any combination of the following: a written examination, a performance examination, and one or more oral interviews. Not all applicants may be tested or interviewed.
Important Information
The provisions of this bulletin do not constitute an expressed or implied contract. Any provision contained in this bulletin may be modified or revoked without notice.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Applications must be filled out completely and clearly show that the qualifications are met. All statements made on the application are subject to investigation and verification. False statements will be cause for disqualification, removal from the Eligible List, or discharge from employment. Resumes may be attached, but will not be accepted in lieu of a standard City application form. All application materials become the property of the City of Lakewood and are not returnable.

COMPENSATION: City employees are paid on a bi-weekly basis, therefore, published monthly salary is for illustration purposes only, rounded to whole dollars. Actual salary is based on hourly rate rounded to four decimal places.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY: The City of Lakewood does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, marital status, disability status, gender expression, gender identity, transgender, or other protected class in its employment actions, decisions, policies and practices.

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES: Qualified individuals with disabilities, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, are encouraged to apply for City employment. Those who require a reasonable accommodation to take a test as part of the selection process must make such a request to the Personnel Department, in writing, at least three working days prior to the date of the testing procedure. Individuals requesting accommodation in the testing process will be required to provide documentation of such need.

IMMIGRATION REFORM & CONTROL ACT OF 1986: In compliance with the Act, all new employees must verify their identity and entitlement to work in the United States by providing required documentation.

FINGERPRINTING: Applicants who are selected for hire are fingerprinted during the pre-placement processing period. All fingerprints will be processed with the Department of Justice to verify criminal records or absence thereof.

RESTRICTIONS ON NEPOTISM: The employment of relatives can create undesirable results, particularly in connection with performance evaluation, discipline, and general morale of other workers. Therefore, it is the city's policy that no relative of any City officer or employee to which this resolution applies shall be employed, if said City officer or employee is in a supervisory, lead or subordinate position over said relative in the areas of hiring, setting compensation, discipline or termination. "Relatives" for this purpose include son, daughter, mother, father, brother, brother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece, stepparent, stepchild, grandparent, grandchild, or persons living in the same household. The City does not prohibit employment of two people who are married to each other or who are the registered domestic partners of each other pursuant to the California Family Code (section 297 et seq.). Nonetheless, the City will not employ spouses or registered domestic partners in the same division or facility in situations where such action is determined to be inappropriate because of reasons of supervision, safety, security or morale.

PHYSICAL EXAMINATION: Employment offers are conditional, based upon the successful completion of a medical examination which includes drug and alcohol screening for safety-sensitive positions. Physicals are performed by the City's designated physician at the City's expense. Candidates are cautioned not to quit their jobs or give notice to their current employers until they are determined to be medically qualified.

TUBERCULOSIS TESTING: Candidates selected to work in a position requiring contact with children must submit a certificate or notice documenting that within the last two years they have been examined and found to be free of communicable tuberculosis. The certificate or notice must be signed by a licensed examining physician or public health agency.

POSSESSION OF A VALID CALIFORNIA DRIVER'S LICENSE: Employees in classifications requiring possession of a valid California driver's license will be enrolled in the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Government Employer Pull Notice program, which confirms possession of a valid driver's license and reflects the driving record.

LOYALTY OATH OR AFFIRMATION: All City employees are required to sign a loyalty oath or affirmation prior to actual employment.

EMERGENCY SERVICE: All City employees are required to perform assigned Emergency Service duties in the event of an emergency or disaster.

PROBATIONARY PERIOD: Employees appointed to positions in the classified service are required to serve a probationary period of not less than six months. All other employees are considered at-will and serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority.