Celebrating Essential Workers this Customer Service Week

 

By Essential Chairman and CEO Chris Franklin

One of our primary goals at Essential is to ensure that it is easy for our customers to do business with our company – from turning on the tap or stove, to seamlessly paying their bill. But when a customer needs to reach out to Aqua or Peoples, that typically means something is not going according to plan with their service. It’s our frontline customer service representatives’ job to help resolve each issue successfully and efficiently, and make sure that every customer has a positive experience.

Many would say that working directly with customers during a pandemic is a little more difficult and stressful than usual. Yet over the past seven months, our essential frontline employees have delivered impeccable service to customers across our footprint with kindness and grace, going above and beyond the call of duty. This week, in recognition of Customer Service Week, we are celebrating the Essential, Aqua and Peoples employees who interact with our customers on a day-to-day basis and provide not only positive experiences, but deliver essential services to each and every customer. 

Like many other times throughout 2020, the events affecting the world have changed the way we work and interact. We engage with our customers in different ways and from different locations, yet still strive to provide excellent service regardless of a customer’s circumstance. In 2019, we launched a customer survey specific to experiences with our call center and our field services, which has been instrumental in allowing us to stay in touch with our customers. Our customer service employees are able to respond to customer issues appropriately and ensure any unresolved issues are handled timely – which is vital to each customer having a positive experience, especially in a time of national crisis.

Essential has more than 3,000 employees across our 10-state footprint, who are all dedicated to protecting and providing essential resources for more than 5 million people. Our employees know, that when we deliver natural resources and essential services, we are really enabling people to live better, fuller lives. Earlier in 2020, I asked that we thank the essential workers, including healthcare workers, grocery store employees, our frontline utility workers, truck drivers and so many others. I am personally extending that thanks this Customer Service Week, recognizing all of our dedicated employees who work each day to provide an incredible experience for our customers, both directly and behind the scenes. I thank each of them for their dedication to our mission, and to each of our customers, for they are a huge reason for our success. 

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Wishing you a happy Earth Day

 

By Aqua Environmental Specialist Krista Scheirer

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the environmental movement that saw the passage of key legislation to protect our water, land, air and wildlife. This is a perfect time to reflect on Aqua's progress as an environmentally minded company, as well as the impacts we make in our daily lives. While we cannot be together this year to celebrate or participate in a Ripple Effect volunteer event, there are many ways to mark the occasion.

Recycle for our planet and to help fight COVID-19

Recycling is an important practice for the sustainability of our environment. It saves raw materials like trees, reduces water and energy consumption, and it minimizes landfill space. Recycling is also beneficial for our economy, providing materials for manufacturing and reducing disposal costs. Many of the items flying off shelves to combat the COVID-19 pandemic are made from recycled materials, and manufacturers need us to recycle correctly now more than ever.

It’s important that we all do our part to keep the stream of recyclables flowing, and that requires using proper recycling practices to reduce contamination. If a dumpster or truckload of recyclables contains non-recyclable items or food residue, the entire batch may be treated as trash instead.

Recycle often, Recycle right

Earth Day is a great time to review proper recycling steps to practice at home and at work. A few tips include:

  • Check with your recycling provider to see what can and cannot be recycled. Each location may be different, so if you are unsure, it is best to ask or take your recyclables home. As a general rule, you should not include latex materials, cloth, foam products, disposable paper products, medical waste, construction debris, electronic waste, loose bottle caps, or cords/hoses.
  • Most single-stream recyclers do not accept plastic bags, so you should keep your recyclables loose and not in a trash bag. You can recycle plastic shopping bags at some grocery stores.
  • Rinse and dry empty containers. Food, residue, or liquids can contaminate an entire batch.
  • Flatten cardboard and paperboard, and do not include packing materials.
  • When in doubt, throw it out. It is better to trash a potentially recyclable item than to risk spoiling an entire batch.

For more details, visit Waste Management’s Recycling 101 website. For information on how to recycle other items, check out Earth911.com.

Aqua Environmental Specialist Krista Scheirer.

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