More competitive pay offered for local customer service representatives
The Joint Board for the Louisville — Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project has approved a Change Order designed to improve customer service for drivers using the tolled bridges. It includes temporarily adding immediate customer care support with dozens of additional representatives answering calls and higher pay for local customer service representatives to build and retain the team at the new local call center.
“Transitioning to a new tolling system and resuming invoicing has led to a large spike in customer service needs, and we’re working hard to answer that demand,” said Amanda Spencer, assistant state highway engineer with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. “We know this will not be an immediate fix, but it’s a big step in the right direction. We appreciate our customers’ patience during this transition period.”
In addition to the local customer call center, calls are being answered at a temporary call center with experience in tolling needs. Global Agility Solutions is providing up to 50 additional representatives to answer calls during this high-volume period. The Joint Board will pay up to $2.3 million over 9 months for the effort. Additional agents started taking calls late last week.
In addition, hourly rates are being increased to help retain local customer service representatives. The Joint Board will reimburse Electronic Transaction Consultants, the new toll service provider, an additional $8.50/hour for customer service representatives to offer more competitive wages to help retain workers locally. That includes a pay increase of up to $5/hour. Additional dollars are for overhead costs.
“The states were committed to building a local call center when we changed providers, and we’re just as committed to building and retaining a quality team to assist our customers,” said Matt Fulkerson, tolling operations director for the Indiana Department of Transportation. “The competitive labor market is still reacting to high inflation rates, and we want to invest in local jobs. We value our representatives and the assistance they’re offering our customers.”
The Joint Board is investing just over $1 million to supplement the hourly rates of customer service representatives. The increase is only for employees at the local call center and the local RiverLink Walk-Up Centers.
ETC will also provide an on-site Business Systems Analyst to oversee training, system and data analysis and quality assurance.
High Customer Service Needs
As anticipated, high customer service needs have followed the September transition to a new toll service provider. Those needs increased significantly when invoicing resumed late last year. Invoicing was on hold from April 2023 – September 2023 during the transition to a new toll service provider.
Invoicing slowly resumed in late 2023 with first monthly bills for April – September crossings distributed by the end of 2023. First monthly bills with September – current crossings are expected to be up to date by the end of February 2024.
With the high number of inquiries expected to continue and the current backlog to work through, it will take time for hold times to return to normal levels. Patience is appreciated, and assistance will be provided as quickly as possible.
As always, the fastest, easiest and most cost-efficient way to cross a tolled bridge is with a prepaid account and transponder. With a prepaid account in good standing, you’ll pay the lowest toll rates and never receive an invoice. Drivers can visit this page to set up a prepaid account.
The Joint Board includes transportation and finance leaders from Indiana and Kentucky. It was created to help facilitate the financing and construction of the Ohio River Bridges Project and has long-term oversight and management responsibility of the project.