“Chat online” option introduced for customers of Lake Wales utilities
Lake Wales utility customers now have a new on-line way to communicate with the city.
Starting Monday, a new “chat” function is live on the Lake Wales website (lakewalesfl.gov), allowing customers to communicate with representatives of the city’s utilities department. Customers can report problems, inquire about billing issues, or chat with a customer representative to get answers to any utility questions.
“It is similar to an option already prevalent in private sector business,” said Deputy City Manager James Slaton. “We believe this new platform will improve our accessibility and responsiveness, as well as increase the overall satisfaction of our utility customers.”
The state’s current safer-at-home guidelines make the launch especially timely.
“While the COVID 19 pandemic provided the impetus for the city to implement this particular customer service vehicle, our intention is for the chat portal to now be a permanent customer service option,” Slaton noted.
A button labeled “Chat with Us” can be found at the bottom right corner of the website’s home page that will connect customers to live city customer service agents during normal business hours. Additionally, a web form has been created under the “E-mail Us” link on the city’s web site to send information to our customer service agents after-hours.
While customers will be able to get answers to a wide-ranging number of questions, they will not be able to pay a utility bill through this new service. Customers continue to be able to pay bills online through the city’s website, however, by clicking on the “Utility Bill Pay” link on the home page of the city’s web site.
Officials added that while utilities is the first to offer this option, other departments are expected to come online with a similar chat function in the future relatively soon.
“The city believes the chat portal offers benefits to customers outside of utilities as well and intends to expand the option to additional departments over the upcoming weeks,” Slaton added