The Successful Path to Customer Engagement

The Successful Path to Customer Engagement

January 20, 2022 | Online :: Central Time

Major advances in technology combined with the ease of information-sharing and availability have created a consumer whose expectations of customer service have increased dramatically. Utility customers have higher expectations than ever before as more than half want their utility to provide them with recommendations and ideas for energy savings and nearly all want to receive personalized digital notifications. After all, they are in frequent communication with the other companies they do business with through mobile and other devices, so they expect to hear from their utilities in the same way. Research has shown that proactive and timely communications with customers is critical to customer satisfaction. 

Utilities recognize that they need to break down application and communication channel silos to continue to improve the customer experience. Many of the country’s leading utilities are using the information they gather about customers energy consumption from smart grid technologies to improve communications with their customers. At this conference, utility and industry professionals will share their innovative strategies for enlisting technology and proactive communications to improve customer engagement.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss using technology to help engage customers during the pandemic and after it subsides
  • Explain strategies to leverage online services/customer portals to help engage customer, reduce costs and improve the ease of doing business
  • Discuss how consumers want to engage with their energy usage data from using smart home technologies
  • Review how using a digital assistant/chatbot improves customer engagement
  • Discuss some of the customer engagement tools in use today and how they help during challenging times
  • Discuss new and creative approaches that utilities are using to provide better customer service
  • Highlight how engagement has been affected and how utilities are finding new ways to interact with their customers
  • Explore behind the meter solutions to improve customer engagement and revenues for utilities

Agenda

Thursday, January 20, 2022 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In and Welcome

12:15 – 1:00 p.m.
Lunch Break

9:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Conference Timing

 

9:00 – 9:10 a.m. :: Overview and Introductions

9:10 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. :: Morning Session: Engaging Customers 

(Includes Break)

Consumer Engagement Tools in Use Today and How They are Used During Challenging Times

  • Telephony platforms
  • Consumer engagement
  • Pandemic-related programs
  • Customer Information Systems

Jon T. Brock, Senior Director, Americas, ISG

Building Customer-First Digital Business

Today it is no longer enough for utilities to simply deliver electricity, gas, and water to their customers, not in the world of intelligent enterprises. By embarking on digital transformation journey, focusing on customer-centricity, promoting clean technology, modernizing the grid, empowering their utility workforce, and driving stakeholder engagement, utilities can build resilient and future-ready businesses.

In this session, we understand the nitty-gritty of utility CX transformation project and learn how to successfully execute a digital transformation project at scale. This presentation will explore how utilities can empower their customer base with self-service capabilities while simplifying their IT infrastructure and streamlining operations. We also investigate the critical ingredients of superior digital CX, including simplicity in design, perfecting multichannel communication, ensuring scalability and modularity, and building systems that promote sustainability.

Jenn Messenbrink, Director- EChannels, NiSource

Darren Brady, Chief Customer Officer, Smart Energy Water

The Smart Home and Energy Data: What Do Consumers Want?

Americans are increasingly adding new smart home technologies – including smart thermostats, appliances, and lighting – to their homes, but what do consumers want from these devices, particularly when it comes to energy? Using the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative’s propriety consumer research as a starting point for discussion, we will look at the benefits and issues that adopters of these technologies have experienced so far and explore the interests and concerns of those who have yet to adopt smart home devices. We will also discuss how consumers want to engage with their energy usage data.

Jason McGrade, Deputy Director, Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative

Using Online Portals to Engage Utility Customers and Deliver a positive Customer Experience

Today’s customers expect their utilities to proactively provide relevant information as a two-way dialogue, at the right time, in the proper format, over their preferred channel. Utilities are consistently being compared to other industries, so customers expect their utility to provide tools that help simplify their interactions and make it easy to do business with the company. For utilities, meeting these demands can be challenging delivering large volumes of time-sensitive multichannel communications, ensuring the integrity of customer contact information and the relevance of the information shared, while supporting internal business rules and operational practices. In this presentation, you will learn how one utility has achieved success by incorporating technology (customer portal) to reduce costs, improve their customers experience and improve the ease of doing business.

Joni Scarbrough, Director, Administration Services, Newnan Utilities

Brian Kilby, Manager, Technology Services, Newnan Utilities

Brian Thomas, EVP, SilverBlaze (a Harris Utilities Company)

Maureen Russolo, VP, Customer Experience, Cogsdale (a Harris Utilities Company)

Utility Panel Discussion: Customer Engagement

This interactive panel discussion will consist of utility executives sharing their experience with customer engagement during challenging times. In this session, utility panelists will respond to audience inquiries on how they are providing customer service beyond the normal channels. The topics for discussion include:

  • Overview of consumer engagement
  • Creative approaches
  • New ideas
  • How they have handled customers during the pandemic

Moderator:

Jon T. Brock, Senior Director, Americas, ISG

Panelists:

Daren Sanders, Director, Contact Centre and Billing Operations, BC Hydro

Anthony Murdock, Director, National Grid

Elaine Veselka, Vice President, Customer Account Management, Austin Energy (tentative)

David Goldberg, Director, Customer and Community Engagement, JEA

12:15 – 1:00 p.m. :: Lunch Break

1:00 – 4:45 p.m. :: Afternoon Session: Utility Case Studies

(Includes Break)

Improving CX by Implementing a Digital Assistant at American Electric Power (AEP)

In 2021, AEP launched a digital assistant (chatbot) on their website and in the IVR called “Aepril” to help improve customer engagement/customer service. In this presentation, Eric Davis will share his experience on what went on behind the scenes including the design of the digital assistant, insights learned through customer surveys, prototype usability testing, as well as QA testing the conversation design. The following topics will be addressed as well:

  • Rationale behind doing the project
  • Design and research process
  • How they marketed Aepril
  • Lessons learned

Eric Davis, User Experience & Design Thinking Manager, American Electric Power (AEP)

Technology Initiatives Make It Look Easy

Con Edison’s Energy Services department, which is responsible for new and additional electric and gas services, has embarked on a series of technological advances to better serve its customers. 2018 saw a roll out of ‘Ask a Question’ online portal, streamlining customer inquiries directly into cases and tracking response times. Customers can use a new online self-scheduling appointment calendar for inspections. During the summer, a new app, available to all new business customers and contractors, was introduced to open and track their cases. In the fall, they began remote video inspections of customer equipment, replacing traditional inspections with a Con Ed rep going out to the customer location. In this session, hear how these technological advances are making a difference operationally and in the customer experience.

Errol Duval, Manager, Bronx / Westchester Energy Services, Con Edison

Marco Oliveira, Senior Specialist, Process and Technology Group, Con Edison

Identifying Less Engaged Customers at Tucson Electric Power (TEP)

Each year the Customer Care team at TEP fields more than 2 million calls from customers with problems to be solved or questions to be answered. These are the engaged customers that might call about a bill, a recent payment, transfer of service, etc. Recently, the company has taken a proactive approach to identifying and reaching out to less engaged customers. In this presentation, John Bord will share some of the research that TEP has conducted including the formation of a CX Council, Customer Advocate group, and market segmentation to reach these less engaged customers.

John Bord, Manager of Customer Experience, Tucson Electric Power

Growing Online Services at Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC)

CUC is focused on growing online relationships with customers beyond bill payment and outage or crisis communications. By growing the online services in multiple ways, it expands touchpoints to enable the company to better deliver on customer needs and improve customer engagement. Digitally engaged energy consumers are more accessible, more engaged, and report higher satisfaction ratings. CUC is adjusting our communications by growing the online services, which helps our customers to feel that they have greater control over their consumption and improves their view of the Company on a whole.

Nichelle Scott, Manager, Customer Services, Caribbean Utilities Company

Daniel Stuber, Senior Supervisor Billing & Collections, Caribbean Utilities Company

Customer Satisfaction Found Beyond the Meter

For over 100 years, utilities have offered Beyond the Meter solutions to their residential customers to improve customer engagement, CSAT and generate non-usage revenue.  The Home Services industry is valued at $600 billion per year and is growing at 17%.  Since utilities touch virtually every appliance found within the home, and are recognized as “trusted advisors”, they’re in a unique position to help homeowners save time & money while eliminating many of the headaches associated with home maintenance & repair.

Over 40% of utilities already offer some form of Beyond the Meter program.  Yet, many utilities still know very little about the success & simplicity that Beyond the Meter programs provide.  Especially the impact they have on improving CSAT and generating revenue. This presentation provides an in-depth overview into the programs and profitability found Beyond the Meter including:

  • The most popular Home Services programs
  • Best practices for achieving success
  • The impact Home Services have on Customer Satisfaction & Engagement
  • Estimating revenue projections

Regardless as to where you are on your Beyond the Meter journey, join us for this highly informative overview & discussion presented by Rob Gilpin, Director of Business Development at American Water Homeowner Services.    

Rob Gilpin, Director of Business Development, American Water Homeowner Services

4:45 p.m. :: Symposium Concludes

Speakers

  • John Bord, Manager of Customer Experience, Tucson Electric Power

  • Darren Brady, Chief Customer Officer, Smart Energy Water

  • Jon T. Brock, Senior Director, Americas, ISG

  • Eric Davis, User Experience & Design Thinking Manager, American Electric Power (AEP)

  • Errol Duval, Manager, Bronx / Westchester Energy Services, Con Edison

  • Rob Gilpin, Director of Business Development, American Water Homeowner Services

  • David Goldberg, Director, Customer and Community Engagement, JEA

  • Brian Kilby, Manager, Technology Services, Newnan Utilities

  • Jason McGrade, Deputy Director, Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative

  • Jenn Messenbrink, Director- EChannels, NiSource

  • Anthony Murdock, Director, National Grid

  • Marco Oliveira, Senior Specialist, Process and Technology Group, Con Edison

  • Maureen Russolo, VP, Customer Experience, Cogsdale (a Harris Utilities Company)

  • Daren Sanders, Director, Contact Centre and Billing Operations, BC Hydro

  • Joni Scarbrough, Director, Administration Services, Newnan Utilities

  • Nichelle Scott, Manager, Customer Services, Caribbean Utilities Company

  • Daniel Stuber, Senior Supervisor Billing & Collections, Caribbean Utilities Company

  • Brian Thomas, EVP, SilverBlaze (a Harris Utilities Company)

  • Elaine Veselka, Vice President, Customer Account Management, Austin Energy (tentative)

Register

Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all registrants for three business days after the event

Event Standard RateAttendees

CEUs

Credits

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EUCI is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard. IACET is recognized internationally as a standard development organization and accrediting body that promotes quality of continuing education and training.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 0.6 CEUs for this event.

Upon successful completion of this event, program participants interested in receiving CPE credits will receive a certificate of completion.

Course CPE Credits: 7.0
There is no prerequisite for this Course.
Program field of study: Specialized Knowledge
Program Level: Beginner/Intermediate
Delivery Method: Group-Live presented online due to COVID-19
Advanced Preparation: None

CpeEUCI is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit.

 

 

Requirements For Successful Completion Of Program

Participants must Log in and be in attendance for the entirety of the webinar to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

Utility panel discussion and PowerPoint presentations will be used in this program.

Who Should Attend

People in the following areas:

  • Customer Service
  • Contact Centers
  • Communications
  • Operations
  • Internet services
  • E-business services
  • Social media

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