This year Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) went all out to hear from you! And the results were remarkable: 1,568 surveys were completed and returned, effectively letting this City Department know what issues need more attention and where they excelled. Generally, LCU receives between 200 and 300 completed annual surveys. “This year we really focused on getting additional responses,” explains Alma Ruiz, LCU office manager senior. “The results help us determine messaging and outreach needed for the following year to better connect with our customers.”
Ruiz continues, “This year two major topics surfaced from the survey results that show we need to communicate better with our customers. We are taking action now to improve our outreach.”
LCU Customers seem confused about their once-a-month Green Grappler schedules – so right now LCU is revamping the annual Grappler Service and Collection Schedule. The large door hanger is delivered to every one of our solid waste customers between mid-November and the end of the year.
Customers are unclear about how LCU is funded. This City Department operates as an “enterprise system.” Tax dollars do NOT fund utility operations; the City Department provides gas – water – wastewater – solid waste services to more than 40,000 customers who pay for those services through their utility bills. That funding covers the cost of operations, employees, and all the service-related expenses, which total more than $60 million per year.”
Audrianna Sambrano, office assistant senior, was tasked with inputting all the survey data and noted, “It took about one month to capture this historical data electronically.” She adds, “Although we expected more, we only received twenty completed surveys in Spanish. But we think it’s important to continue to try to connect with all of our customers.”
The extra efforts this year to hear back from Utility customers included face-to-face surveys in English and Spanish conducted by New Mexico State University (NMSU) Chi Epsilon Engineering students at four locations in Las Cruces; mailing or emailing bilingual surveys to more than 40,000 customers as billing inserts; handing out surveys in the Customer Service office at City Hall to all LCU customers; and posting the surveys online in both languages. LCU alerted residents to the online surveys through newspaper articles, billing, and website messages asking them to please take a few minutes to access and complete the 12-question survey.
Ruiz notes, “Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Survey. We have asked the LCU Board of Commissioners for their input for next year’s issues, and we are asking customers also to submit any questions or suggestions they have about LCU or the services this Department provides at UtilitiesCustomerCom@las-cruces.org
Submitted by: Las Cruces Utilities at 528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Las Cruces Utilities provides GAS – WATER – WASTEWATER – SOLID WASTE services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.