(PHILADELPHIA) – The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) named Amy Matthews, Customer Care Manager for EPCOR, its 2022 NAWC Living Water Award recipient. Presented at the NAWC Annual Water Summit in Miami, the Living Water Award recognizes the regulated water industry professional who best demonstrates excellence in serving their community, colleagues, industry, or environment.
“Faced with not one but three customer service catastrophes, Amy’s ability to pivot quickly and effectively lead her team through these extremely frustrating and trying circumstances is a testament to her dedication to EPCOR’s customers,” said NAWC President and CEO Robert F. Powelson. “Each year, we are thrilled to read the stories of how the employees of America’s water companies go above and beyond in their jobs to ensure high quality water service. The crop of nominees this year illustrates how invested these employees are in their jobs and their communities.”
Matthews was honored for her efforts leading EPCOR’s customer care team while it experienced the nightmare scenario of a ransomware attack on the third-party vendor handling the company’s customer service line, billing and collections services. The attack happened at the same time EPCOR was incorporating new customers into the billing system. Further complicating matters, EPCOR also was re-integrating systems and disconnections that took place over the past two years during the pandemic. It was a perfect storm of customer care headaches.
The solution required new manual processes to handle billing – meaning additional staff had to answer phone calls and send personalized responses to more than 1,000 customer emails each day. Under Matthews’ leadership, her customer service team expertly navigated this crisis, equipped with the knowledge and material they needed to continue providing a high-level of customer service. Matthews and her team spent countless hours addressing the myriad of customer service issues caused by the ransomware attack and moved quickly to reduce call center wait times.
Leading by example, Matthews modeled how to de-escalate customer concerns and find a solution to problems that would resolve even the toughest cases. She was a big part of building up the EPCOR brand during this crisis – always putting her best foot forward and handling each and every situation with care and the time it deserves. Always quick to provide support to customer experience professionals in the water industry, Matthews has shared the EPCOR experience and the tools she and her team used to be successful with colleagues.
“Amy is passionate about the community she serves and is a vital part of the EPCOR leadership team by bringing her in-depth experience to complicated issues. With nearly two decades of experience in human resources, her expertise guides EPCOR’s customer care team to deliver top-notch service to customers,” said Becky Burleigh, Vice President of Corporate Services for EPCOR.
The other four Living Water Award finalists, selected by a committee of judges representing five separate companies, were:
- Dante DeStefano – Corix – Director of Regulatory Affairs
- Doug Dunham – EPCOR – Water Resources Manager
- Elizabeth Cullen – Aqua America – Hydraulic Engineer
- Ray Montana – Veolia New York – Senior Project Manager
To learn more about Amy Matthews and all of the 2022 finalists, please visit www.nawc.org/news-events/awards/living-water-awards.