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A photo is worth 1000 words

October 17, 2023


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Customers can be excellent sources of information regarding the health of your infrastructure. Sometimes, however, they don’t know the most helpful way to describe an issue or the right terminology to use.

Traditional call centers rely on their words, and the call taker’s documentation of those words. Sometimes, details get lost in translation.

With advanced reporting and customer engagement, customers have greater resources at their disposal to provide utilities with the information that can be used to resolve issues faster. They can even upload photos and additional notes that can prove critical in determining the best response.

Consider these examples:

  • A caller speaks so quickly the call taker documents the word "culvert" as "cover," causing a stormwater issue to be sent to the sewer department. Fortunately, the customer also uploaded a photo that revealed the true nature of the problem, and the incident was correctly dispatched.
  • A caller says, "there's a pipe burst and water is spraying everywhere." The accompanying photo shows the issue to be an irrigation line in a park. The water department was able to transfer the issue to the parks department.
  • Two callers call in after-hours about a water leak at their meter. The photo for one shows a high volume of water. The photo for the other shows a trickle. One was addressed immediately and the other saved for the next business day.

Photos can define the severity of the problem. They can show what kind of equipment or personnel might be needed. They can prevent unnecessary truck rolls.

Learn more about the value of integrating photos into your response process here.

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