A heart to heart with Connie Hird
Relationships are the heart of customer service. And Connie Hird has heart. After 39 years of service, Hird has chosen to retire.
Hird was hired as a Consumer Accounting Clerk in 1981 after her father told her about the open position.
“My dad, Virgil Coryell, knew it was a great opportunity for me,” she recalled. “He was a lineman for Dawson PPD for 37 years. This job has been such a blessing.”
In 1995, Hird was promoted to Supervisor of Consumer Accounts and Records.
Over the years, technology updates changed some parts of Hird’s position.
“In 1997, we converted our accounting system over to CADP (Central Area Data Processing),” Hird said. “It changed our work process dramatically.”
“We used to have the customer read their meter, calculate their bill and send it to us with the payment,” she said. “Then we’d have to double check their work and, if there was a miscalculation, send correction notices back to them on green paper. It was such a manual process that the billing department and I would work late to try to keep up.”
“The best thing we ever did was convert to the CADP system,” Hird said. “It is now called NISC, but it’s been amazing. We’ve had more capabilities to process billing faster and ensure month end balances are updated and accurate.”
In 2014, Dawson PPD installed an Automated Metering Infrastructure, which allows Dawson PPD to remotely disconnect customers for nonpayment. Previously, a lineworker had to manually disconnect the meter.
“I didn’t want to be known as the ‘disconnect lady,’ but it was a part of the job,” Hird said. “What I appreciate is that our customers have learned that if they are having trouble paying their statements on time they can call and we’ll work with them. Once we’re able to have a conversation, we have a much better relationship and mutual understanding.”
Hird says she’s also appreciated the family-like relationships with Dawson PPD employees.
When asked what retirement will look like, Hird smiles as she says she’s looking forward to spending more time with her grandchildren. She and her husband, Bruce, would like to travel to Rome and Jerusalem when the opportunity is right.
With a heart full of gratitude, we at Dawson PPD wish Connie the very best.