Optimizing Utility Contact Center Conference

Optimizing Utility Contact Centers

June 14, 2022 | Online :: Central Time

“It was a great day. Took back lots of ideas and new contacts.” – Customer Contact Lead, Enbridge Gas

“Each presentation was interesting, engaging and relevant in very distinct ways under the intriguing umbrella of the conference topic.” – Manager, Utility Partnerships, 3Degrees

“EUCI conferences remain amongst my favorite opportunities to learn and engage with my industry peers and key vendors. I always find that I come away with key ideas and action points to improve how my company ultimately performs and serves our customers.” – Senior Supervisor, Caribbean Utilities Company

When a customer calls the power company, chances are, there’s a problem. It could be as simple as a request for information or something as potentially serious as downed power lines. The basic tenants of the conversation and the experience the customer is looking for during the call are straightforward: they want immediate action and to satisfy their needs quickly. While it may be relatively easy to handle such calls in a normal operating mode when call levels are moderate and the customer is calm, it’s a different story in times of crisis like an unexpected weather event or a prolonged pandemic. In these and other situations, the utility rep must be professional, compassionate, knowledgeable, courteous, and efficient.

Contact centers have long been the primary means of customer service in utilities. But evolving customer needs and expectations are forcing these centers to be more nimble, responsive, and tech-savvy. Customers expect to engage with utilities in more ways than ever—over email, chat, text, and apps. Utilities that leverage their contact centers to address both customer and agent needs effectively can create trusted relationships with customers. At this conference, customer care and contact center experts will share their innovative strategies to exceed the customer experience and employee satisfaction by strengthening call center operations through workforce management, advanced training, technology adoption, first call resolution, and more.

Learning Outcomes

  • Evaluate whether chat is right for your contact center
  • Discuss the impacts of First Call Resolutions to customer satisfaction
  • Review how incorporating a shared resource plan provides a framework for future change and helped weather the pandemic
  • Discuss payment arrangements to help customers who are facing financial hardship
  • Review new ways to connect with utility customers and their specific needs
  • Discuss innovative ideas for moving forward as utilities can no longer rely exclusively on traditional contact centers
  • Evaluate what the cost/benefits are by introducing new digital capabilities in contact centers
  • Explain the need to ensure utilities have the systems and processes in place to support their agents

Agenda

Tuesday, June 14, 2022 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In and Welcome

12:30 – 1:15 p.m.
Lunch Break

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

 

9:00 – 9:10 a.m. :: Opening Announcements

9:10 – 10:50 a.m. :: Morning Presentations

 

First Call Resolution (FCR) for Improving Customer Satisfaction at ComEd

First Call Resolution (FCR) is a global customer service industry metric targeted at call center’s ability to resolve customer problems, questions or needs the first time they call. ComEd uses call data to determine FCR results. Calls are reviewed to identify key drivers to non-FCR, additionally we examine various processes that force customer call-back for potential improvements or step deletions. We have found that there is a correlation between non-FCR calls and customer satisfaction. The more effort a customer expends the more it impacts customer satisfaction. This presentation will include a definition of First Call Resolution and methodology for measuring FCR, key drivers of non FCR, improvement strategy and impacts to customer satisfaction.

David Sowa, Senior Business Analyst, Call Center Quality team, ComEd

Let’s Chat: Considerations for adding a Chat channel to your Contact Center

You see it all over websites across the world; Chat, Chat, Chat.  Help desks, Sales centers, Customer Service, but is it right for our contact center?  In this session we’ll hear about considerations and strategies for deciding if chat is right for your contact center.  We’ll discuss timing, implementation, staffing, skill sets, and process mapping.  You’ll take away concrete decision-making ideas, as well as evaluation tips for those with existing chat functionality. 

Todd Gladden, CWPP, SVP – US Operations, Planmen Consultancy

10:50 – 11:05 a.m. :: Morning Break

11:05 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. :: Morning Presentations Continued

 

Weathering a Pandemic or Other Crisis Utilizing a Shared Resource Plan

While utilities continue to witness an ongoing shift in consumer behavior and increasing demand for more digital, online, and self-serve options, many companies are looking to fully maximize how they utilize staffing in an increasingly digital world.   This requires leaders to evaluate, study, and modify existing manpower plans, and think outside the box to repurpose positions, duties, and cross-train their staff, with the goal of broadening their employee skillsets to maximize service to their customers and members.  In this session, we’ll discuss some of the unique circumstances which led one of the largest U.S. Electric Cooperatives to utilize and implement some specific strategies which culminated in the creation of a Shared Resource Plan.  This plan was key in helping one company successfully weather the COVID pandemic, but also provided a framework for future change. 

 Brent Cochran, Director of Customer Service, Jackson EMC

Providing Light at the End of the Tunnel for Customers During the Pandemic

The presentation will cover an overview of our post moratorium Payment Arrangement Process and our internal process for the handling of the federal funded (Emergency Rental and Utility assistance) ERAP program. Steps to ensure we cast a wide enough net to determine eligible customers.  Take a walk with us on how we have helped a vast majority of customers who are facing financial hardship including rent and utility assistance. We went above and beyond with our community outreach efforts with our Door to Door knocking program. Changing our community’s one family at a time.

Laura Davis, Tucson Electric Power Contact Center Supervisor

Maria Sherfield, Tucson Electric Power Contact Center Supervisor

12:30 – 1:15 p.m. :: Lunch Break

1:15 – 2:30 p.m. :: Afternoon Presentations

 

The State of the Consumer: What Makes a Utility Customer Happy?

While everyone expects the lights to be on when they want them to be on, today’s residential customers have varying expectations from their electricity providers beyond power reliability based on their individual lifestyles, values, concerns, and interests. 

Consumers are not a monolith, and when it comes to improving customer satisfaction and increasing engagement, utilities must look towards new ways to connect with their customers specific needs. This session will highlight key themes that help utilities better serve today’s consumers on the journey towards a smarter, more equitable energy future.

Jason McGrade, Deputy Director, Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative

Moving to a Hybrid In/Outsource Model

We all learned from the pandemic that utilities can no longer rely exclusively on traditional contact centers. In the last two years, energy providers have had to pivot to a work from home service platform, adopting a new operational model at breakneck speed. While this was quite a challenge for the industry, but it also gave rise to a more robust form of service offering that helps to weather any storm. This presentation will share how Enbridge Gas moved to a hybrid in/outsource model that is truly unique in how the utility operates.

Kristin McPhee, Customer Contact Supervisor, Enbridge Gas

2:30 – 2:45 p.m. :: Afternoon Break

2:45 – 4:45 p.m. :: Afternoon Presentations Continued

 

Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)

With the advent of new working models and technologies, globally as well as in North America, utilities are adapting to and evaluating new ways of working, including accelerating their existing and revised enterprise digital transformation plans and programs such as their customer experience solutions and services and considering the benefits of adopting these new solutions as-a-service offering.  ISG has concluded recent research that evaluates what the cost/benefits are by introducing new digital capabilities in the Contact Center, what capabilities are enabled in a CCaaS setup, and who the market participants are in this new space. 

Jon Brock, Utilities Director, ISG

Easy to Use Systems and Great Processes for a Better Customer Experience

As utilities continue to evolve their customer experience delivery, they need to ensure they have the systems and processes in place to support their call center agents. Having an easy to use, well designed CIS is crucial to deliver ease of navigation for agents. An easy to navigate system supports operational efficiencies and delivery of both an enhanced employee experience and customer experience. Additionally, ensuring that all the corresponding interaction channels for customers have real time data that matches the CIS is crucial to deliver consistently accurate information to customers.  In this session, hear how one utility deployed a suite of products and services anchored on their modern CIS to deliver operational efficiencies, improve employee engagement, and deliver an enhanced customer experience.

Rene Gonzalez, Chief Customer Service Officer, Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans

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

Utility Panel Discussion

This closing panel discussion will allow conference attendees to ask specific questions of the panelists for discussion related to how utilities can continue to improve their contact centers

Brent Cochran, Director of Customer Service, Jackson EMC

David Raposo, Senior Manager, Customer Contact Centre Operations, BC Hydro

Laura Davis, Tucson Electric Power Contact Center Supervisor

David Sowa, Senior Business Analyst, Call Center Quality team, ComEd

4:45 p.m. :: Conference Concludes

Workshop

Successfully Managing In-House Operations for Utilities

Wednesday, June 15, 2022 : Central Time

This workshop will cover proven methods to successfully develop world-class in-house operations for utility contact centers and customer care departments. Important keys to success will be covered including great management, maximizing your employees, measuring performance, justifying resources, commitment to quality, redundancy/back-up, continuous learning & improvement, and the three “P’s” approach to world class operations. Proven and practical techniques from successful in-house operations will be shared. This workshop will also include utility case studies on how to navigate moving your call center/centre teams from an outsourced world to an in-house one.

Learning Outcomes

  • Review characteristics of high-performance contact center and customer service teams
  • Discuss the key needs that motivate people
  • Discuss how to keep top performers and bottom performers engaged over the long term
  • Review common challenges and how to address them
  • Evaluate utility repatriation efforts to bring contact centers in-house

 

Agenda

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Workshop Timing

 

9:00 – 9:10 a.m. :: Welcome and Opening Remarks

Powerful Lessons

Wes Friesen has written a book called “Your Team Can Soar! Powerful Lessons to Help You Lead and Develop High Performing Teams” and will share highlights from the book. In this section of the workshop, we will explore:

  • The latest research
  • Tapping into the wisdom from a variety of experts
  • Gaining a better understanding of how to help motivate people
  • How to build customer care teams that are high performing

Keys to Building Great Workplaces

In this section of the workshop, we will explore:

  • Creating great workplaces that maximize employee engagement
  • Creating great workplaces that maximize employee potential and utility potential
  • Imperatives to building great workplaces
  • Inspiring your customer care teams

Wes Friesen, President – Solomon Training & Development; University Instructor

Utility Case Study: The Journey of Going from an Outsourced World to In-House

This presentation will provide an overview of repatriation of customer care after years of outsourcing. David Raposo with BC Hydro has been part of two large utility repatriation efforts (ENMAX & BC Hydro). In this session, he will share his experience and findings of the journey that a Call Centre team takes moving from an outsourced world to in-house including:

  • What was the culture differences?
  • How did we navigate those?
  • What did performance do?

David Raposo, Senior Manager, Customer Contact Centre Operations, BC Hydro

 

Presenters

Wes Friesen, President – Solomon Training & Development; University Instructor; (MBA, CCE, CBF, CBA, CMA, CFM, CTP, CMDSM, MCOM, MDC, EMCM, ICP, CM, APP, PHR)

Mr. Friesen is a proven leader and developer of high performing teams. He managed at Portland General Electric for 37 years where his teams were noted for high performance and earned multiple awards and national recognitions. He is also an award-winning University Instructor and Conference Speaker—and is the President of Solomon Training and Development, which provides leadership, management and team building training.

He writes for business trade journals, including a management column for Mailing Systems and Technology. His book, “Your Team Can Soar! Powerful Lessons to Help You Lead, and Develop High Performing Teams” has 42 valuable lessons that will inspire you and give you practical pointers to help you—and your team—soar to new heights of performance. Mr. Friesen earned his B.S. in Business Administration from George Fox University and his MBA from the University of Portland. He also sits on several non-profit boards.


David Raposo, Senior Manager, Customer Contact Centre Operations, BC Hydro

David began his contact centre career in 2001 in the outsourced technical support environment, where he aided the launch of Contact Centres in British Columbia and New Brunswick, before accepting a Senior Business Manager role. David joined the utility industry in 2008, accepting the position of Contact Centre Operations Manager with ENMAX in Calgary Alberta, where he led the repatriation and subsequent culture transformation of their Contact Centre Team. In 2017 David accepted the position of Sr. Manager Contact Centre Operations with BC Hydro, where he helped prepare the team for their repatriation from outsourcing. Post repatriation, David is responsible for the Contact Centre operations and Collections teams. He has completed a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Royal Roads University.

Speakers

  • Jon Brock, Utilities Director, ISG

  • Brent Cochran, Director of Customer Service, Jackson EMC

  • Laura Davis, Tucson Electric Power Contact Center Supervisor

  • Todd Gladden, CWPP, SVP – US Operations, Planmen Consultancy

  • Rene Gonzalez, Chief Customer Service Officer, Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans

  • Jason McGrade, Deputy Director, Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative

  • Kristin McPhee, Customer Contact Supervisor, Enbridge Gas

  • David Raposo, Senior Manager, Customer Contact Centre Operations, BC Hydro

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

  • Maria Sherfield, Tucson Electric Power Contact Center Supervisor

  • David Sowa, Senior Business Analyst, Call Center Quality team, ComEd

Online Delivery

We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: After November 30 you will not be able to join a Teams meeting using Internet Explorer 11. Microsoft recommends downloading and installing the Teams app if possible. You may also use the Edge browser or Chrome.
  • You will receive a meeting invitation will include a link to join the meeting.
  • Separate meeting invitations will be sent for the morning and afternoon sessions of the course.
    • You will need to join the appropriate meeting at the appropriate time.
  • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
  • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.

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

REGISTER NOW FOR THIS EVENT:

Optimizing Utility Contact Centers

June 14, 2022 | Online
Individual attendee(s) - $ 895.00 each

Volume pricing also available

Individual attendee tickets can be mixed with ticket packs for complete flexibility

Pack of 5 attendees - $ 3,580.00 (20% discount)
Pack of 10 attendees - $ 6,265.00 (30% discount)
Pack of 20 attendees - $ 10,740.00 (40% discount)

RELATED WORKSHOPS:

Successfully Managing In-House Operations for Utilities

June 15
Individual remote connection(s) - $ 495.00 each

Volume pricing also available

Individual attendee tickets can be mixed with ticket packs for complete flexibility

Pack of 5 attendees - $ 1980.00
Pack of 10 attendees - $ 3465.00
Pack of 20 attendees - $ 5940.00

Your registration may be transferred to a member of your organization up to 24 hours in advance of the event. Cancellations must be received on or before May 13, 2022 in order to be refunded and will be subject to a US $195.00 processing fee per registrant. No refunds will be made after this date. Cancellations received after this date will create a credit of the tuition (less processing fee) good toward any other EUCI event. This credit will be good for six months from the cancellation date. In the event of non-attendance, all registration fees will be forfeited. In case of conference cancellation, EUCIs liability is limited to refund of the event registration fee only. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as complaints and refunds, please contact our offices at 303-770-8800

CEUs

Credits

AP_Logo

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 0.7 CEUs for this conference and 0.3 CEUs for the workshop

Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must sign in/out each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the symposium to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

Case Studies, Panel Discussions and PowerPoint presentations will be used in the program.


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

Course CPE Credits: 7.5
Workshop CPE Credits: 3.0
There is no prerequisite for this Course.
Program field of study: Specialized Knowledge
Program Level: Basic
Delivery Method: Group Internet Based
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. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its web site: www.nasbaregistry.org

 

 

Who Should Attend

Professionals working in the following areas will benefit from attending this event:

  • Managers, Directors and Supervisors of Customer Service
  • Contact Center Management Professionals
  • Business Planning, Information Systems
  • Training and development staff
  • Quality assurance staff
  • Usability Professionals
  • Corporate Communication Professionals
  • Customer service

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