Solving Collection Problems to Increase Revenue: The Houston Experience

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by Karen Philippi,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water:

Abstract: By concentrating on improving customer service the City of Houston Utility Customer Service division solved their collection problems and increased their revenues. This article discusses the service problems and how those problems were resolved. The major steps involved streamlining the adjustment process and using hand-held computers for field collection data capture. The collection improvements demonstrate the role of customer service in revenue enhancement. This utility services approximately 400,000 customers and has annual revenues of $507 million. In 1988 UCS collected 95.8 percent of billed revenues. By improving customer service, the collection percentage improved to 99.7 percent in 1995. This equates to a difference of $19.7 million annually.

Subject Headings: Client relationships | Revenues | Data processing | Urban areas | Data collection | Hydrologic data | Field tests |

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