DC Water’s Alan Heymann recently co-authored a paper with CH2M HILL about the use of social media in the water utility field.
Since DC Water implemented its social media program and began promoting the use of Twitter as an effective channel for customers to report problems, e-mails to the general purpose box have decreased. In addition, social media have helped DC Water to better diagnose and fix customer problems. Before social media, an individual may have seen a clogged catch basin and just walked by it, not even bothering to find a phone number and make a call to report it. Today, someone can take a quick snapshot of the problem with a smart phone and send the photo and location to DC Water on Twitter, and I will send the information to the command service center via e-mail. At the command center, the photo helps representatives better diagnose the issue than a phone call can and speeds dispatching a service truck with the right equipment.
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