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Customer Services Officer

Organization: City of Long Beach
Date Posted: 9/13/2018
City: Long Beach
Location: California
Country: United States
Primary Category: Misc
Salary: $95,000.00 yearly
Type of Position: Full-Time
Education Requirement: Bachelor's
Experience Requirement: 3-5 years

Description & Details

The Community
Ideally located on the Pacific Ocean south of Los Angeles and, just west of Orange County, Long Beach is the sixth largest city in the State of California. Offering all the world class amenities of a large metropolitan city, coupled with its strong sense of community and pride, Long Beach is one of the most vibrant communities in the country. The City has been referred to as the "Most Diverse City" in the country by USA Today and one of the "Best Communities for Young People" two years in a row.

With its ideal location in Southern California, year-round comfortable climate, healthy business environment and far ranging cultural pursuits, the City is alive with activity. Long Beach is home to an abundance of cultural and recreational options. Expansive beaches, three marinas, five golf courses, the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Queen Mary and the annual Grand Prix of Long Beach serve to draw 5.5 million visitors a year.

The City's full-service commercial airport has preferred flight schedules, carriers, and an overall accessibility that makes it the travel friendly alternative to other Southern California airports. In addition, Los Angeles' rail transit system, the most used light rail system in the country, connects the city to the entire region. Long Beach continues to make significant investments in its parks, beaches, streets and other amenities (including a new city hall) indicative of the financial stability and health of the City.

Long Beach is home to California State University, Long Beach, the second largest university in the state and ranked the No. 3 best–value public college in the nation. Numerous other major universities and community colleges are within short driving distance including UCLA, USC, Pepperdine University and Long Beach City College. Serving the K-12 student population, the Long Beach Unified School District consistently ranks among the Top 10 urban school districts in the country.

City Government
The City of Long Beach is a Charter City governed by nine City Council Members who are elected by district and a Mayor who is elected at-large. Elected officials also include the City Attorney, City Auditor, and City Prosecutor. The Council Members and Mayor are subject to a two-term limit, which allows them to serve for a maximum of eight years. The City Council appoints a City Manager and a City Clerk.  The City Manager is responsible for the efficient administration of all City departments, excluding those under the direction of a separately elected official, Board or Commission. Long Beach is a full-service City providing all traditional public services. Over 5,400 full and part-time employees support municipal operations with the majority being represented by eleven employee associations. In addition to its traditional services, Long Beach also maintains one of the world's busiest seaports, which serves as a leading gateway for international trade. The City also has its own full-service commercial airport, a Gas & Oil Department, and is one of only three cities in California with its own Health Department. 

To learn more about the City of Long Beach, go to www.longbeach.gov

The Department and Bureau

The Department of Financial Management administers the financial affairs of the City and provides related services to citizens, elected officials, and City departments. The Department is charged with managing revenues, expenditures, purchasing, accounting, budgeting, investments, cash management, and debt issuance and management. With a staff of approximately 240 employees, the Department includes the Bureaus of: Administrative Services, City Controller, Budget Management, Commercial Services, City Treasurer, Business Services, Fleet, and Financial Controls.

The Commercial Services Bureau, comprised of 43 staff, provides a range of customer and financial services to the City and its residents including billing, collections, payment processing, and customer services.

The Position
The Department of Financial Management has an immediate opening for a full-time, at-will Customer Service Officer in the Commercial Services Bureau. The Customer Service Officer is a new management position responsible for overseeing and strengthening the Bureau's day to day customer support operations. The Customer Service Officer is one of two officer-level positions reporting directly to the Commercial Services Bureau Manager. The Customer Service Officer supervises teams consisting of a Customer Services Supervisor who oversees a group of Customer Service Representatives. Each team runs an independent operation. The Customer Service Officer will be assigned responsibility over two or more of the operations below. Operation assignments may rotate between bureau officers.

  • Billing – This operation manages billing for various city functions, primarily ambulance services and parking citations.  Other miscellaneous billing functions are also managed.
  • Collections – The Collections team manages delinquent collections for the major City billings, including ambulance services, parking citations, business licenses and utilities. Collection activities for some other billings are also managed.  The Bureau obtains small claims judgments where appropriate.  Ultimately, if City collections efforts are not successful, the Bureau also manages the services of outside collection agencies and coordinates with the State's "tax intercept" program.
  • Parking Citations – This group assists citizens with parking-related customer service questions/requests, ensures timely and accurate billing of parking citations and preferential parking permits, coordinates and ensures the training of Parking staff and issuing agencies for updated parking rules and regulations.
  • Lobby In-Person Services – The In-Person Services staff is the front line contact for all customers needing assistance with community service, ambulance transport fees, business licenses, health permits, false alarms and all other non-utility inquiries. Additionally, this operation also creates field activities for utility workers and initiate, cancel, transfer or re-connect utility services.
  • Central Cashiering – This function coordinates the receipt of payments in the City, which includes a large volume of in-person customer payments and account inquiries. The bulk of the in-person payments are ambulance bills, utility bills, and parking citations. Central Cashiering also processes checks received by mail, monitors credit card processing, including remote pay stations, and provides secure storage of cash until its bank transport by commercial courier services.  A new responsibility is handling tax receipts, potentially in cash, from cannabis operations that are now legal in Long Beach. 

 

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Continue to improve and maintain customer service to best serve residents and City departments.
  • Plan and review the work plan for assigned staff; monitor work activities, projects, and programs; aid staff in learning new job skills and developing existing ones; evaluate work products, methods, procedures, and other performance; meet with staff to identify and resolve problems.
  • Leverage current system capabilities, optimizing the Bureau's productivity and revenue projections
  • Develop and implement written procedures, policies, standards, and training programs.
  • Analyze customer information and evaluate the results to best resolve customer challenges.
  • Manage assigned contracts (e.g. contracts related to: citywide payment processing, collections systems, ambulance billing, parking citations systems and services).
  • Contribute to system administration, including configuration, workflow/approval processing, and user security access.
  • Document and analyze reports of software deficiencies and facilitate citywide resolution.
  • Monitor and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures; recommend, within departmental policy, appropriate service and staffing levels.
  • Establish and maintain relevant controls and feedback systems to monitor multiple operations.
  • Provide back-up support, as needed, for the Bureau's Financial Services Officer and Commercial Services Bureau Manager. Back-up duties include: budget oversight for the Bureau, supervision of the Cashiering Division, and general oversight of the bureau.


The Ideal Candidate
The ideal candidate is a strategic thinker that brings high levels of vision and innovation in tandem with the proven ability to operate in a fast paced, fluid and dynamic environment. The ideal candidate will possess a team oriented and collaborative leadership style with excellent writing, interpersonal skills, and a strong desire for quality and accuracy. The ideal candidate will have excellent managerial skills and a strong service orientation; a relationship builder who is able to build consensus and facilitate change with staff. The ideal candidate will be driven, detail oriented, highly productive, and have excellent independent motivation and follow-through. The expectation is to effectively navigate and address the myriad of complex organizational considerations with enthusiasm and positive energy. Industry benchmarking and implementation of best practices are expected in this role, along with an ability to effectively manage and communicate the balance between customer expectations and operational capacity.

Key Competencies and Characteristics

  • Participative and inclusive management style
  • Strong customer service orientation and experience.
  • Outstanding decision making and analytical skills.
  • Strong project management and/or system implementation skills.
  • Ability to articulate ideas with staff at all levels of technical or nontechnical backgrounds.
  • Desire to "dig deep" into operations to develop solutions that best meet customer needs.
  • Organized and adept at managing multiple complex projects and competing priorities.
  • Flexible, adaptable, and forward thinking with a holistic approach to problem solving.
  • Proficient mathematical and computer software skills.
  • An active participant in a "hands-on" work environment

How to Apply / Contact

Requirements to File

Minimum Qualifications

  • Five (5) years of progressively responsible and related experience in customer service and/or billing and collections, two (2) years of which entailed supervisory responsibilities.
  • Bachelor's Degree in Business or Public Administration, or a closely related field; or, an equivalent combination of education and related experience.


Desirable Qualifications

  • Knowledge/experience in budgeting and/or accounting are desirable.
  • Municipal utility experience.
  • Experience designing and using performance indicators.
  • Ability to prepare well-written, structured analyses and recommendations.
  • System skills in understanding design and implementation particularly in billing, collections and related systems.

Compensation and Benefits
The annual salary for this position is expected to be in the $85,000 to $105,000 range depending on experience and qualifications.

  • Vacation - 12 days after one year of service, 15 days after four years and six months of service, and 20 days after 19 years and six months of service.
  • Holidays - Nine designated days plus four floating personal holidays per year.
  • Sick Leave - One day earned per month with unlimited accumulation; conversion upon retirement to cash credit toward health and/or dental insurance premiums or retirement service credits.
  • Executive Leave - Five days per year.
  • Bereavement Leave - Three days for death or critical illness of a family member or domestic partner plus three days of accrued sick leave if needed.
  • Health Insurance - Choice of one HMO or one PPO plan, with the City paying the major portion of the premium for employee and dependents.
  • Dental Insurance - Two plans available for employee and dependents.
  • Disability Insurance - City-paid short- and long-term disability insurance benefits.
  • Life Insurance - City-paid term life insurance policy equal to three times annual salary to a maximum of $500,000 in additional to $20,000 term life.
  • Management Physical - Annual City-paid physical examination.
  • Monthly Automobile Allowance
  • Deferred Compensation - Available through ICMA Retirement Corporation.
  • Retirement - California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), coordinated with Social Security, 2.5% at 55 plan for classic employees (prior or current CalPERS or reciprocating agency members with a 6 month or more break in service) or 2.0% at 62 plan for new members as defined by PEPRA, subject to limitations set by PERS.


Selection Procedure
This recruitment will close at 4:30 pm (Pacific Time) on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 (was previously Tuesday, September 18, 2018). To be considered for this opportunity, please apply and submit a letter of interest and resume that reflect the scope and level of your current/most recent positions and responsibilities as they relate to the duties of this position. Please submit these materials in PDF format at www.governmentjobs.com/careers/longbeach.

The City anticipates inviting a small group of finalists for interviews, with an appointment anticipated shortly after, following the completion of thorough reference and background checks. Incomplete applications or candidates who clearly do not meet the minimum requirements of the position will not be considered. For questions regarding this position, call Daniel Casey at (562) 570-6781. For NEOGOV technical assistance, call applicant support at (877) 204-4442.

This information is available in an alternative format by request to the Administration Bureau at (562) 570-6781. If you require an accommodation because of a disability in order to participate in any phase of the application process, please request it when submitting your application. In support of the City's Language Access Policy, bilingual skills (Spanish, Khmer and/or Tagalog) are desirable for positions interacting with the public.

Equal Opportunity
The City of Long Beach is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We value and encourage diversity in our workforce. The City of Long Beach intends to provide reasonable accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. If a special accommodation is desired, or if you would like to request this information in an alternative format, please call (562) 570-6781.