Hydration Habits for the New Year

3… 2… 1… Happy New Year!

Yep, it’s that time of year again: resolution season. We know how these New Year promises often go. We’ve also been guilty of breaking a few, or all, of them in the past. So to help you ease into the new year, we’ve compiled some easy, achievable and water-tastic resolutions to make 2017 a great year.

Health

Hit the gym

But make sure to bring a water bottle, and use it! If you’re serious about the “new year, new me” mentality, then keeping hydrated is a must. According to WebMD, choosing foods with higher water content or drinking more throughout the day helps control calories.

Clear your head

Drinking water is good for your body in every way. In addition to flushing out bacteria, staying hydrated can alleviate headaches. Keep your mind active and sharp by drinking just a few more cups a day.

Avoid Colds

Need another way to stay healthy? Consuming water regularly throughout the day boosts your immune system, which helps keep colds at bay.

Wealth

Like fish in a barrel

Save money like a pro. Install a rain barrel or bucket, it’s as easy as that. Collect rain water to water your garden and inside plants with.

Scrap the tap

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget. Turning off the faucet when you’re brushing your teeth or cleaning your dishes saves a ton of water and money.

Ditch the disposal

Even if you have a garbage disposal we recommend putting your food in a compost bin instead of dumping it down the drain. Not only will your pipes thank you, but so will your garden.

No matter how you choose to ring in the new year, we hope you have a happy, healthy and hydrated 2017!

 

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Communications Manager Donna Alston Explores the Relationship Between Social Media and the Customer Experience

Hey! Who Opened That Door?

I recently had the privilege to be part of a panel of communications professionals who were charged with dropping knowledge about social media and the customer experience on a group of students studying communications at my alma mater, Temple University. My first thought was that because the audience was primarily millennials, that they should likely be dropping social media knowledge on me.

After I pulled myself together, I remembered that the topic was really about the customer experience and how it has been impacted by social media. Feeling a bit more confident, I began to think about just that. One of the most significant impacts of social media is that it has made everything public. No more private showing or sharing of anything that has been documented in any way, for anyone, anymore—and probably never again. Terms like, “behind closed doors” and “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” are now officially anachronisms.

But what has this truth meant for the customer experience? On the business/service provider side of that experience, it means that customer service is no longer solely seated in the “customer service department” because now, the entire world has a bird’s-eye view of that customer experience. What used to take place between one customer and one service representative via a secure landline is now on the internet for everyone to see. Many customers are less likely to use landlines (which are nearly anachronisms) to call a service provider, than they are to use cell phones to Tweet their issues, airing them on companies’ social media sites—which could easily be the most massive of all mass media.

This thought alone can be daunting, particularly when you consider that most customers only connect with customer service when there is a problem. So how are businesses to handle this still-rather-new, very public customer experience?

When I think about the answer, I’m reminded of my childhood and my parents in particular, who taught me to always be on my best behavior. And make no mistake about it, there was no compromise on that mandate when in public. I’d better not embarrass them when we were in public—because my behavior was a direct reflection of their parenting skills and an implication of what took place in our home.

In much the same fashion, companies should always have their best face forward when managing customer issues on social media (and elsewhere). When they don’t, just like with the misbehaved child, they leave the public wondering what’s going on at home. Who is minding that store?

Customer issues raised on social media should be handled with the same promptness, courtesy, concern, and attention we would provide to our most loved family member. Their handling should reflect the company’s brand and values, and embody its mission, because just like the child, it provides an indication of what’s going on inside the business and what is taking place with their operations.

There is already an inherent relationship between customer service and operations, which is often the primary source of information needed to reply to customer queries. However, customer service professionals charged with managing the social customer experience would be greatly served by consulting their company’s communications professionals. Social “media” has created a nexus where customer service and communications meet. I suggest that the best social customer experience is one that is informed by customer service and communications professionals. The icing on the cake comes when both of these groups have complete and consistent access to their peers in operations who are keeping the business running.

Operations professionals ensure that the information needed to provide the right answers and appropriate solutions to customers is made available to the customer service team. They should also provide notice of potential issues in a timely fashion so that customer service can proactively alert customers about potential problems when appropriate. These decisions should be made with input from the communications team. Customer service professionals ensure that responses are delivered promptly and contain information that will actually resolve the issues, and that proactive messages are delivered when needed. Communications professionals ensure that all messages are consistent with the company’s brand, values and mission.

When the customer service/communications nexus is synced and fed consistent and comprehensive information from operations, it doesn’t matter that the door is open and your company’s customer experience is taking place in public. Why? Because now, like that well-behaved child, your company is on its best behavior, leaving little or no room for anyone to wonder what’s going on at home or who is minding that store.

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12 Days of Water

It’s the holiday season and we’re in an extra festive mood. That’s why we decided to take the classic 12 Days of Christmas song and add our own little twist.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Aqua gave to me…

Twelve clean loads of dishes

Eleven pipes a pumping

Ten taps a turning

Nine water recipes

Eight states of service

Seven WaterSmart Tips

In addition to providing water services, we offer handy tips to keep your house flowing. Feel free to check them out at any time!

Six tubs a teeming

Five new blog posts!

Four sparkling sinks

Three volunteers

At Aqua, we value the communities that we service. That’s why we’re proud to share our volunteering initiatives with you. Between planting trees, helping with community programs or working with high schools, we are always happy to give back.

Two new hashtags

Keep up-to-date with all things Aqua and water in the world! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay in the loop. #12DaysofWater #HappyWaterDays

And a happy home filled with clean water for your tree!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us here at Aqua America. For any comments, questions, or concerns please reach out to us at 877.987.2782 or visit us at AquaAmerica.com

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Five Tips for Keeping Your Christmas Tree Fresh

 

Christmas is right around the corner and you may be getting ready to put up the perfect Christmas tree in your home, if you haven’t already. While taking care of a Christmas tree seems as though it should be a fairly simple task, keeping a tree hydrated and fresh through the holidays can become a challenge. That’s why we at Aqua are here to dispel a few Christmas tree hydration myths and answer your frequently asked questions. 

Q: Does my tree still need to be stored in water if I do not plan on installing it right away?

A: Absolutely! Whether or not you plan on putting your tree up immediately, a freshly-cut Christmas tree should be placed into a bucket of water as soon as possible. If the tree will not be installed until the following day immediately, make an effort to keep it stored in a cool, dry place.

Q: Will trimming down the bark around the base of my tree aid in water uptake?

A: Trimming the bark of a Christmas tree does not assist in water absorption. In fact, it may even be detrimental to the tree’s health. The bulk of a Christmas tree’s water uptake is done through its bark so shaving this precious material away is absolutely not recommended.

Q: How do I know exactly how much water my tree needs to stay fresh?
A: As a general rule, tree stands should provide one quart of water per inch of stem diameter. Make sure to supply a new tree with water on a daily basis, since freshly cut Christmas trees absorb the most water within their first week of installation. Keeping your tree properly hydrated will increase its longevity and help it stay looking lush.


Q: What is the proper cutting technique for trunk trimming? Are angular cuts more effective?

A: Contrary to popular belief, tactics such as making angular cuts or drilling holes into the trunk of a Christmas tree will not have any beneficial influence on water absorption. The most effective technique for proper water uptake is a traditional, straight cut through a tree’s stem, like slicing off a nice chunk of provolone cheese.

Q: How many inches should be trimmed from the stem of my tree to keep it healthy?

A: We recommend that ¼ to ½ of an inch be trimmed from the tree’s stem to prevent sapping, which may drastically disrupt water absorption. However, these numbers do not take into account trimming for ceiling space. At the end of the day, any cut will suffice as long as it is at least ¼ of an inch thick.

With proper care, a Christmas tree can stay fresh for up to four weeks. Keep the above hydration tips and tricks in mind during your Christmas tree installation and watering processes this holiday season to get the most life and beauty out of your tree.

 

Happy Holidays from all of us at Aqua!

 

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