View our developing session listing below. Please check back as we continue to update our agenda.
Keynote: Transforming the Customer Experience for the New Energy Consumer
The rapid advancement in smart technologies and customer expectations is shaping the future for the new digitally-engaged energy consumer. In 2015, under the guidance of Tracie Boutte, VP of Customer Experience, Entergy launched a new Digital Customer Roadmap with a bold vision to meet these evolving customer needs. In this keynote presentation, Tracie will share the steps Entergy is taking to design a future customer experience that will increase engagement and satisfaction while driving business value and cost savings. She will discuss the challenges of making this change happen in technology, people, policy and process to deliver on Entergy’s customer-centric strategy. Tracie also will share an inspirational view of what Entergy, and the industry at large, may look like as they become more innovative and agile to support the new energy ecosystem of the future.
Presenter: Tracie Boutte – Vice President of Customer Experience, Entergy
Keynote: The Intuitive Customer: Seven Imperatives for Moving Your Customer to the Next Level
Many organizations are witnessing their customer measures stalling and are unclear on what to do to move their customer experience to the next level. In this presentation, customer experience expert Colin Shaw will reveal that understanding human behavior and behavioral economics is the key to improving the customer experience. He will outline his Seven Imperatives for Moving Your Customer Experience to the Next Level and provide examples of organizations that have embraced this approach and improved their Net Promoter scores by as much as 40 points in 30 months.
Presenter: Colin Shaw – Founder and CEO, Beyond Philosophy
Platinum Sponsor: The Mobile Shift: How to Proactively Deliver a Better Customer Experience
In the midst of a global “digital disruption,” customer expectations and technology continue to evolve every second. Influenced by a retail industry in which 20% of shoppers made purchases via mobile phone in 2015, more consumers than ever are reaching for their mobile devices expecting this same level of convenience from your utility. To meet this demand, it’s crucial to make a conscious shift from reactive to proactive communications. Facilitating the mobile experience your customers crave can seem daunting. In this presentation, Doug will help you create a clear path to delivering results as he explores how leveraging data can help you stay ahead of your customers and reach them on their own terms.
Presenter: Doug Thompson – Director of Product Development, West Interactive Services
General Session: Insights and Opportunities
Chartwell highlights the latest customer experience trends and best practices revealed in the company’s annual consumer and industry surveys. Chartwell analysts will discuss insights and opportunities for utilities across a range of topics including billing and payment, customer care and communications, marketing and outage communications.
Moderator: Scott Johnson – Vice President, Chartwell Inc.
Panelists: Will Adams – Senior Industry Analyst, Chartwell Inc.
Suzanne Haggerty – Research Manager, Chartwell Inc.
Russ Henderson, Senior Industry Analyst/Research Strategist, Chartwell Inc.
Ben Murdock, Senior Industry Analyst, Chartwell Inc.
Keynote: Three Shifts Shaping the Future of Humanity
In this keynote, professional futurist Frank Spencer will explore the three major shifts that are shaping the future of business and society – the Creator Economy, Blurred Reality and Intentional Evolution – and will help participants to create new mental maps to successfully navigate our landscape of increasing complexity. Conference participants will not only be immersed in many of the emerging trends that are impacting human values and activities, but will also understand how those trends are colliding and converging to form larger patterns of change that will disrupt and transform the world as we have known it.
Presenter: Frank Spencer – Principal and Creative Director, Kedge LLC
From Worst to First: JEA’s Customer Experience Transformation
In 2013, JEA started a journey to transform its Customer Experience after being rated by its residential and business customers as one of the lowest ranked utilities nationally in the area of customer satisfaction. Hear how the most improved utility in the United States surged from the bottom to the top of J.D. Power Electric Utility Customer Satisfaction rankings in only three short years by embracing the voice of the customer, transforming its culture, developing and executing a targeted strategy, and ultimately engaging all of its employees.
Presenter: Monica Whiting – Chief Customer Officer, JEA
Building Blocks to Value
Many utility customer service leaders find their operations lagging or even trailing in the tools, technology and support necessary to meet customer expectations in the emerging multi-channel/omni-channel space. With limited resources, what are some initial steps to take to jump in and drive value, adoption, and customer engagement while making the case for bigger change? Walk the journey with CPS Energy, and learn how they are organizing the internal resources and partnerships to make meaningful, incremental progress as they execute their customer strategy.
Presenter: Phyllis Batson – Vice President of Customer Engagement and Care, CPS Energy
Leveraging Strategic Partnerships to Provide One-Stop Solar Shopping
In an effort to simplify and speed solar energy development, National Grid partnered with EnergySage to roll out a convenient online tool that customers can use when researching and purchasing solar energy systems for their homes and businesses. With support from Rhode Island’s Public Utilities Commission, National Grid is offering its customers a simplified process to research and purchase photovoltaic equipment and earn bonus solar incentives based on their energy reductions.
Presenter: TBD, National Grid
Driving Self-Service Adoption with a Mobile-First Mentality
Most customers begin their interactions with companies online – including utilities – and they expect a simple, easy and intuitive digital experience along the way. Learn how Southern California Edison is evolving to meet these digital experience expectations and how its “mobile first” strategy is helping SCE both put the customer first and drive self-service adoption.
Presenter: Michael Backstrom – Director, Customer Experience, Southern California Edison
Day-in-the-Life Deep Dive Helps Georgia Power Identify Customer Pain Points, Reduce Call Volume
Georgia Power’s unique “day-in-the-life” customer brand and engagement study, designed to augment its internal participation and profitability metrics, combined various customer data and industry data studies and allowed the utility to:
- Identify customer pain points.
- Reduce or eliminate barriers to a smooth, no-effort interaction.
- Optimize self-service capabilities and operational efficiency to reduce call volume.
Learn how Georgia Power designed this study and escalated its value by integrating internal metrics into the analysis, and how the organization plans to leverage the findings to identify future business opportunities and meet critical customer needs.
Presenter: Don Hodson – Head, Customer Experience, Georgia Power
Data Science: Beyond the Hype
Companies from Amazon to Zappos are scrambling to hire data scientists in the hope such professionals will unearth new information that will lead to new revenue streams or opportunities to streamline operations. Utilities are also in the hunt but what payoff do they expect? Join us for an interactive panel discussion that will showcase early successes and explore future opportunities. Our experts will offer an insider’s view beyond the hype and give practical suggestions on how to succeed.
Moderator: Ben Murdock, Senior Industry Analyst, Chartwell Inc.
Panelists: Ioannis Katsanos, PhD – Lead Data Scientist, Customer Business Analytics, Commonwealth Edison (ComEd)
Paul Lesner – Leader, Market Solutions Analytics, Duke Energy
Segmentation Use Case: From concept to practical application
Creating useful customer segmentation can be challenging, from gathering a variety of behavioral, transactional and demographic variables, to building a statistically valid model. Along with the model come segment profiles and personas – and that is just the end of the beginning. Hear how Entergy created its residential customer segmentation, developed segment specific strategies, and established a learning agenda and test plan around the strategies and campaign plans. In addition, you’ll see specific examples of the hypotheses/test plan/execution and learnings – and what is next on the journey to being a data-driven marketing organization.
Presenter: Jennifer Gary – Marketing Manager, Entergy
Empathy and the Modern Utility: How to Enhance the Customer Experience at Emotional Touch Points
While the importance of the volumes of data available cannot be overlooked, human interactions with customers can go a long way in impacting the customer experience. How do we prepare our employees to be empathetic with customers to provide the best customer experience possible? What role does empathy and emotion have in the modern utility’s relationship with its customers? In an age of mobile and digital engagement, how do we engage customers in a way that is effortless yet personal and meaningful? Alabama Power’s Jamie Sandford discusses some of the approaches the company is using to ensure that its employees are equipped to provide the best interactions with its customers during key moments of their journeys with the company.
Presenter: Jamie Sandford – Customer Experience Manager, Alabama Power
Increasing Engagement through Online Customer Communities
What if you had instant access to customers to help make timely business decisions? Would your customers steer you in a different direction than you expected? Find out how Alliant Energy engages its online customer community to get quick, reliable voice-of-customer data while building deeper relationships with customers. Learn why customers want to be heard and how 55% response rates are achievable – without participation incentives.
Presenter: Shawn Kapper – Manager, Customer Experience, Alliant Energy
National Grid’s Journey to a Best-in-Class Online Experience
Realizing that an easy-to-navigate, seamless digital experience is essential to improving customer satisfaction, National Grid is on a continuous journey to improve its web and mobile design. Discover how the utility has successfully endeavored to deliver a best-in-class online experience across a large, multi-state service territory.
Presenter: Steven Abatiello – Manager, Web Operations, National Grid
Enhancing Digital Customer Relationships with Marketing Automation
In this session, attendees will learn how marketing automation tools and strategies can help utilities design experiences to enhance digital customer relationships. Specifically, by better utilizing automated emails prompted by customer actions, companies can engage more effectively with customers and build a better customer experience.
Presenter: Sonia McCollum – Web Manager, Southern Company
Using Psycho-Linguistics to Trigger Trust
Winning back customer trust with a resilient complaints team is essential, and agents must be able to bounce back from difficult conversations throughout the day. In this session, British Gas will outline the development of a custom training program that enhanced the emotional intelligence and resilience of complaint team agents. During this presentation, you will learn about the use of actors to drive home the difference between rational and emotional conversations, workshops that helped agents create emotionally acceptable arguments and the psychological feedback each agent received from a clinical psychologist highlighting the implications of their personal Emotional Intelligence scores.
Presenters: Dr. Valerie Bram – Managing Director, T2 UK Ltd
Lynda Campbell – Culture Angel, formally Regional Director, British Gas
Robert Ace – Senior Associate, T2 UK Ltd
Allocating Marketing Budgets under the Mass Save Brand
As part of Mass Save, a consortium of Massachusetts gas and electric utilities and energy efficiency service providers, Liberty Utilities works with other members to help the state’s residents and businesses manage energy use and related costs. Learn how Liberty Utilities budgets on a statewide basis to support brand-building and advertising strategy under the Mass Save brand and how the consortium’s budgeting has evolved to educate customers. This session will also provide a brief history of Mass Save, which took home Chartwell’s 2015 Silver Award in Brand Marketing for its 2014 campaign to increase brand awareness.
Presenter: Trish Walker, Senior Energy Efficiency Program Manager, Liberty Utilities
Next-Generation Digital Engagement for the Utility of the Future
The energy supply and management market is becoming increasingly complex, sophisticated and competitive. This changing landscape sets the stage for us to redefine the utility of the future. Under New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) proceeding, utilities in the state have been challenged to explore innovative new business models that rethink the role of the utility and fundamentally shift the way that the grid must be managed. This session by Con Edison will examine how its Building Efficiency Marketplace demonstration project for REV is enabling utilities to more effectively engage their commercial customers – in energy efficiency, distributed energy resources, and new solutions and products.
In partnership with Ecova, Con Edison’s Building Efficiency Marketplace program has been designed to provide sustainable, profitable business models for utilities as they move toward a more distributed, customer-centric energy system. New advances in digital engagement are helping utilities to deliver customer-specific insights at scale so their business customers can make informed decisions about their energy management and experience better interactions with their utility. This program and similar models will enable utilities across the nation to deepen their customer relationships, while introducing new revenue streams and driving more value for the broader energy efficiency and distributed energy market.
Presenter: Tim Lezgus – Project Manager, Con Edison
Creating Company Brand Ambassadors with Duke Energy’s “I Can Help” Mobile App
With just a few taps on a smartphone or tablet, Duke Energy employees can now assist friends, family members and neighbors with service questions and issues they are having with the company. With the new “I Can Help” mobile app, customer issues (along with any applicable photo evidence) can be escalated, Duke Energy contact information shared and important Duke Energy topics in the news searched – all in response to a question or concern raised by a customer. Through this app, Duke Energy has enabled thousands of employees to be effective brand ambassadors – supporting customers anytime and anywhere, in or out of the office.
Presenter: Scott Abbott – Channel Strategy Manager, Duke Energy
Xcel Energy: Best Practices in Rate Case Communications
Rate cases are among the most challenging things for utilities to communicate to customers. With a service territory spanning multiple states, Xcel Energy has had the opportunity to hone its approach to rate case communications. Learn from Xcel’s experience – what’s worked, what hasn’t – and their current best practices to help customers understand the value that Xcel delivers vis-à-vis rate cases.
Presenter: Renee Wagner — Director, Billing Services and Operations, Xcel Energy
Diving into Digital
New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) has been operating the SAVEGREEN Project, a suite of energy-efficiency programs, since 2009. Marketing consists of traditional channels including direct mail, email and leveraging outreach with stakeholders. Since digital marketing was added in 2013, it has become the major source of leads for the project.
Presenters: Susan Ellman – Energy-Efficiency Marketing Manager, New Jersey Natural Gas
Raquel Phillips – Energy-Efficiency Program Specialist, New Jersey Natural Gas
Unconventional Means of Improving Member Engagement
Electric utilities, especially cooperatives do the normal planned events (annual meetings, member days, etc.), sponsorships, newsletter and advertisements. Learn how LCEC engages with their customers/members at the grass roots level, without spending a ton of money.
Presenter: Joe Padgett, Director, Customer Care Operations, LCEC
Standing Out in the Crowd with Safety Messaging
Energy safety messaging is important, but it can easily get lost in the daily communications clutter. In this session, Con Edison’s Chris Gallo discusses some of the strategies that the New York utility is employing to reach customers, and some important lessons they’ve learned along the way.
Presenter: Chris Gallo – Senior Specialist, Customer Outreach & Education, Con Edison
Program Marketing Award Gold: Puget Sound Energy’s Energy Upgrades Campaign
Aspiring to generate a new level of enthusiasm for energy efficiency, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) implemented a revitalized approach in 2015 to attract customers to its Energy Upgrades event booth at community and sporting events throughout the state of Washington. PSE’s market research revealed an opportunity to engage with a sizable, yet challenging-to-reach audience: the “Standard Sounder” customer. Comprised of 18% of PSE’s total customer base, Standard Sounders skew 35 and older, generate above-average incomes and tend to prioritize cost savings over environmental initiatives. To reach this segment, the utility leveraged a distinct engagement tool, a Willy Wonka-inspired “Golden Upgrade” ticket, to entice customers to locate its booth at events and discover their energy efficiency prize. The utility awarded 33,403 instant energy-savings upgrades throughout the 2015 campaign, surpassing its goal of 25,000. Over the course of the campaign, PSE engaged with 61,520 customers through ticket distribution and attracted 33,403 customers to its Energy Upgrades booth, yielding a 54.3% redemption rate.
Expanding the EV Infrastructure: KCP&L’s Clean Charge Network
In January 2015, KCP&L announced plans to install a network of more than 1,000 electric vehicle charging stations across the region, one of the largest electric vehicle charging station installations undertaken by an electric utility in the United States. The effort has elevated the Kansas City metro area to a top-tier location for electric vehicle owners. This presentation will describe the KCP&L Clean Charge Network deployment and the outreach activities carried out to create a positive customer experience.
Presenter: Kristin Riggins – Sustainability Products Manager, Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L)
Communications Award Gold: ComEd’s Icebox Derby
ComEd’s 2015 Icebox Derby provided female students the opportunity to gain real-world experience through a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-based educational competition. Over the course of four weeks, students ages 13-18 participated in a series of challenges as they worked to convert old refrigerators from ComEd’s Fridge and Freezer Recycling into racing vehicles for the Icebox Derby event held on August 17, 2015. ComEd’s brand tracking research indicated the utility’s reputation improved among customers aware of the Icebox Derby, and the utility has committed to continuing the program on an annual basis.
Presenter: Elizabeth Keating, Communications Manager, ComEd
Opportunity is Calling: Finding the Hidden Value Inside Your Contact Center
Utility contact centers field some of the most challenging customer interactions — and gather some of the most interesting customer data. Join this session to hear how APS is developing innovative approaches to capitalize on this touch point and turn customer calls into opportunities to deliver energy-saving and money-saving tips, thereby increasing satisfaction. APS will share insights into who is most likely to call the call center, educating customers on energy usage, and driving customers toward self-service in order to transform the customer experience.
Presenter: Sharon Connolly – Senior Marketing Program Manager, Arizona Public Service (APS)
Billing and Payment Programs Award Gold: Increasing Paperless Billing with Targeted Marketing
When SCE took a hard look at its billing portfolio in 2014, the company saw an opportunity for huge cost savings. A cross-functional team took on the challenge of developing and executing a strategy to shift customers to paperless billing. The initiative was designed around concepts built over many years of developing effective marketing strategies. As a result of its efforts, the company was able to shift customer behavior and realize $1.9 million in savings during 2015.
Presenter: Ajá Reneé Clarke – Project Manager, Customer Engagement, Southern California Edison (SCE)
Outage Communications Award Gold: Leveraging Smart Grid Analytics to Predict Outages
Like something out of a science fiction film, Florida Power & Light can now predict customer outages before they happen. The utility’s Smart Grid and Innovation team has created an algorithm to detect distinct patterns in millions of data points from more than 4.8 million smart meters. Being able to predict future outages up to three days in advance represents a paradigm shift for customer and utility alike. Applying the algorithm prevents longer unplanned outages, relieves customers from the inconvenience of reporting problems and reduces response time for repairs – saving the utility more than $1 million in operations and maintenance costs annually.
Presenters: Dave Herlong – Director, Smart Grid and Innovation, FPL Power Delivery
Adam Meranda – Manager of Quality and Analytics, FPL Power Delivery
TCPA Risk Management and Compliance
With TCPA class-action lawsuits and major settlement payments in the headlines, companies in all industries must consider how they contact customers and potentially make changes to decrease the risk of potential litigation. This session will provide an overview of the statute and the FCC’s regulations that apply to communications with the public and with customers. Attendees will also learn about issues that may be of particular interest to those active in the utility space, including the pending request for FCC clarification on the scope of any “emergency purpose” exception to having prior consent to call and some common issues encountered by companies attempting to comply with heightened FCC rule requirements.
Presenter: Laura H. Phillips, Partner, Drinker Biddle & Reath
Customer Service Award Gold: PSE&G’s MyAlerts IVR Enrollment Process
PSE&G sought to improve the customer experience by merging IVR with the sign-up process for the utility’s customizable MyAlerts, a proactive notifications system. The utility had big goals for MyAlerts enrollment, but, as is often the case, did not have the marketing budget to match its ambitions. When a customer calls to pay their bill or to report a power outage, the IVR recognizes the customer’s MyAlerts status – enrolled or not – by notification type, and when appropriate in the context of the IVR transaction prompts the customer to enroll or confirm enrollment. This IVR enrollment process helped the utility to double MyAlerts enrollment in just a few weeks, rising to a utility record of 3,000 enrollments in a single day.
Presenter: Jared Osorio – Supervisor, Customer Technology, PSE&G