Click here for Agenda at a glance.
Serving Everyone in the Age of the Customer
Salesforce is a growing force in the utility world as companies strive to improve their engagement with their customers. In this presentation, we will hear how Salesforce approaches the utility industry and how its solutions have been put into practice as Entergy transforms its customers’ experience.
Martin Leach – Global Senior Director, Energy, Salesforce
Tracie Boutte – Vice President, Customer Experience Strategy, Entergy
Transforming the Customer Journey (Utility Partner)
With more than a dozen J.D. Power awards to its credit, Salt River Project is synonymous with excellence in customer satisfaction. That commitment starts at the top. This keynote presentation will provide executive insights into how to successfully transform the customer journey through innovation, people, process, and technology. Learn best practices on how to increase customer satisfaction and transition beyond the role of utility provider to trusted energy advisor.
Presenter: Michael Lowe – Deputy General Manager, Salt River Project
EMACS-Past, Present and Future
On the 20th anniversary of EMACS, we’ll take a fun look back at how the conference has changed and grown over the years in step with the utility industry. Chartwell VP Scott Johnson and Marketing Director Stacey Bailey also will highlight what’s new at this year’s conference along with events that you won’t want to miss.
Scott Johnson – Vice President, Chartwell, Inc.
Stacey Bailey – Director, Marketing and Operations, Chartwell, Inc.
What Should a Utility’s Digital Strategy Be?
Amy Africa, CEO of the Eight By Eight marketing firm, will share her insights and experiences in helping companies chart their digital futures. Amy has been in the forefront of web usability studies and successful ecommerce optimization for over 15 years. There’s no doubt digital can be a double-edged sword – disruptive on one hand, a doorway to new opportunities on the other. Identifying and acting upon these opportunities will be critical for companies to succeed.
Presenter: Amy Africa – Chief Executive Officer, Eight by Eight
Driving Innovative Options for Customers in a New Energy Landscape (Utility Partner)
Today’s customers enjoy more choices than ever before thanks to the rapid growth in renewable energy as well as new pricing structures driven by smart grid information and technologies. This new energy landscape requires utilities to develop innovative programs and options for customers. Learn how Arizona Public Service has reshaped and developed programs to enhance the customer experience and increase customer engagement.
Presenter: Stacy Derstine – Customer Service & Chief Customer Officer, Arizona Public Service (APS)
Customer of the Future: 2020 and Beyond
Today’s customers are more informed and in charge of the experience they receive than ever. Tomorrow’s customers will expect companies to know their individual needs and personalize the experience. Learn how these industry leading utilities are retooling their customer service and customer experience approached to stay ahead of these trends.
Dave Clauson – Director, Digital Media/Marketing Communications, Westar
Julia Evans – Manager, Performance and Planning, Xcel Energy
Kristy Lovett – Senior Manager, Customer Satisfaction, Ameren Missouri
Tim Melton – Manager Customer Commitment, LG&E and KU
The Next Step in the Customer Experience Journey (Platinum Sponsor)
Adam Berke – Senior Director, Product Sales, Broadridge will present how utilities have an opportunity to leverage their essential communications – such as bills and other communications – to engage customers with content that is important to them and deliver it on the channels of their choice, including print; electronic notifications and presentment; online banking; and cloud channels, such as Google Drive, Amazon Drive, Dropbox and Evernote.
In addition to industry trends, Adam will share insights of how leading utilities are using their monthly bill to increase revenue, build brand loyalty, reduce call center volume and accelerate the meter-to-cash cycle. This is the next step in the customer experience journey.
Presenter: Adam Berke – Senior Director, Product Sales, Broadridge
Consumer Attitudes and Preferences: Chartwell’s 2017 Residential Consumer Survey Takeaways
Chartwell presents findings from its 2017 survey of 1,500 residential consumers gauging customers’ attitudes and behaviors regarding key issues. This presentation will highlight areas including what consumers say drives their satisfaction.
Presenter: Russ Henderson – Senior Industry Analyst/Research Strategist, Chartwell Inc.
The Risks and Rewards of Leveraging TCPA Safe Harbor Toward Auto Enrollment (Gold Sponsor)
In the FCC’s 2016 declaratory ruling, utilities gained comfort that various outage-related notifications enjoyed a safe harbor from the strict liability of the TCPA. Many utilities are now using this clarification to auto enroll customers for outage-related notifications via SMS text messaging. Learn how auto enrollment can negatively impact the most effective strategies to gain opt in across your customer base and hear how telecommunication carriers are responding. The session will discuss the risks and rewards associated with distributing SMS messages without express consent as well as recent examples of when auto enrollment has served as a practical and useful tool.
William Raney – Partner, Copilevitz & Canter
Bill Joiner – Chief Strategy Officer, Message Broadcast
Enhancing Customer Engagement and Product Design through Data Analytics
Entergy is using analytics to transform customer engagement and new product design. Attend this session to better understand the analytics and techniques used to inform Entergy’s strategy, how insights are turned into new products, and how the company evaluates the impacts of a product on the environment, customer engagement, economy/jobs, bill savings, load shape, and utility financial health.
Presenter: Raiford Smith – Vice President, Energy Technology Analytics, Entergy
TEP’s People-First Strategy Drives Customer Satisfaction (Utility Partner)
With employees on board and a culture change in progress, Tucson Electric Power (TEP) executed its People-First strategy to exceed customer expectations. After placing customers at the center of its vision, TEP used data analytics, focus groups, market segmentation and strategic projects to produce measurable results. Attend this session to learn how TEP created a comprehensive strategy to boost customer satisfaction, and what the future holds for this ongoing effort.
Presenter: Denise Smith, Director – Customer Care and Energy Efficiency, Tucson Electric Power
Finding the Needle in the Haystack – Using Customer Surveys and Company Data to Identify Opportunities to Improve
Over the last few years, PNM has been on an aggressive, uphill journey to significantly improve its J.D. Power scores. While the company doesn’t have the budget or resources to take on large-scale initiatives, it has found ways to make a difference by examining its quarterly data at a micro level. By combining data filtering at the ZIP code level and detailed analysis of verbatim responses, call center data and feedback, PNM has implemented targeted initiatives that are resonating with customers. Attend this session to learn some possible new ways to “slice and dice” your data to identify opportunities to improve customer experience in the moments that matter.
Presenter: Melissa Leymon – Marketing Program Manager, PNM
The Growing Impact of Cannabis and Indoor Agriculture
The legalization of recreational cannabis has generated rapid growth in the indoor agriculture industry and created new opportunities for utilities to serve and advise their customers. Adam White, a Supervisor on Xcel Energy’s Energy Efficiency Customer Solutions team, will provide observations on customer engagement, facility energy use, and energy efficiency opportunities at indoor agriculture facilities.
Presenter: Adam White – Supervisor – Energy Efficiency Customer Solutions, Xcel Energy
Empowering Customers and Reducing Write-offs with Prepaid Metering
Since its launch in 2014, OUC’s Power Pass prepaid metering program has steadily gained momentum. Launched in an effort to achieve operational benefits, including write-off reduction, the program also provides participants with granular usage information for use in decision-making related to energy and water usage. Since the program’s inception, OUC has received positive customer feedback and recovered more than $700,000 in debt. Join Ebony Whitby, OUC’s Residential Customer Service Manager, as she provides an overview of the initiative and its impact on customers and the utility.
Presenter: Ebony Whitby – Residential Customer Service Manager, Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC)
Digital Engagement’s Impact on DTE Energy’s C&I Customers
Enterprise social messaging and predictive analytics can dramatically improve the delivery of energy efficiency measures and enhance service. Digital engagement is up to ten times less expensive than traditional physical measures. Digital engagement increases the adoption of energy products and services and improves JD Power scores.
Presenter: Gregory P. Garland – Manager of Energy Optimization – Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Group, DTE Energy
Benefits of Implementing an Improved IVR
Due to aging infrastructure, Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) opted to replace its customer service IVR in early 2017, but looked to get more value from its investment than just new menu options. The new IVR, which includes features such as smart prompts and screen pops, prompted an increase in customer self-service and a decrease in CSR-handled calls. Attend this session to learn how OPPD approached the implementation of its new IVR and the benefits it gained as a result of these efforts.
Presenter: Kyle Hoyle – Lead, Customer Operations Technology, Omaha Public Power District
Employee Engagement – KCP&L’s Do Just One Thing Initiative
In 2015, KCP&L was nearing the end of a three-year life cycle for a suite of energy efficiency products and services. Getting a second cycle approved by the state commission would largely depend on existing program adoption rates. Learn how KCP&L engaged time-strapped employees and empowered them to become community ambassadors who played an important role in the programs’ ongoing success.
Presenter: Carey Bush – Senior Communication Specialist, Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L)
How Customer Segmentation and Digital Marketing Drives Behavior Change
Using customer segmentation and a mix of strategic digital marketing, FirstEnergy has successfully driven behavior change among customers to adopt electronic billing, increasing the number of new monthly eBill customers by 117%. Hear how these strategies are now being applied to the promotion of additional products and services to FirstEnergy customers, driving new revenue streams.
Presenter: Susan Samuelson – Senior Advertising and Production Consultant, FirstEnergy
Presenter: Stephanie Crockett – Senior Vice President and Leader of Energy + Sustainability Specialty, Eric Mower + Associates
Improving Satisfaction with a Customer-centric Culture
In 2016, BC Hydro embarked on a new customer strategy that has led to many customer service and customer satisfaction improvements. The strategy is part of a five-year roadmap to improve the customer service foundation, further develop a customer-centric culture and proactively build for the future. This session will explore the strategy’s rollout, initial results and what’s in store for the future.
Presenter: Mike Wenzlaff – Customer Service Strategy Programs and Projects Manager, BC Hydro
Getting the “U” out of Brand Journalism
At Alabama Power, what started as a desire to do something beyond the static press release morphed into a better way to communicate stories about the utility and then into a way to better tell the good news of the entire state. The Alabama NewsCenter is not your standard content marketing platform; instead of serving as a content portal for Alabama Power, it delivers news and feature stories on a variety of topics from around the state that matter most to the utility’s customers. Attendees will learn the questions their organization should ask and steps they may consider taking when exploring content marketing and brand journalism.
Presenter: Mike Tomberlin – Editor, Alabama NewsCenter, Alabama Power
Leveraging Video Technologies to Enhance Customer Experience When the Lights Go Out
If pictures are worth 1,000 words, videos are worth 10,000 views. Thanks to video integration across nearly all social media platforms, there’s no denying that video traffic is growing globally. Hydro Ottawa uses video to educate and connect customers to its business, employees and events in a dynamic way. During this session, the utility will share its best practices on how to stand out on social channels, its visual storytelling strategies, and tips on using the power of video to re-energize your brand during outages. Attendees will learn the importance of extending reach beyond their followers and using public sentiment to strategize a new path forward for their utility.
Presenter: Daniel Séguin – Manager, Media & Public Affairs, Hydro Ottawa Limited
Best Practices Gold Billing and Payment Programs Award Winner:
Improving the Payment Experience for Customers
In 2016, Consumers Energy embarked on a journey to transform its payments process. One new vendor, thousands of hours of work and hundreds of thousands of lines of code came together to create a system that was more efficient for the company and easier to use for customers. The removal of convenience fees, expansion of payment options across all channels, and improvement of business processes and rules have created new value for customers and valuable operational improvements for Consumers Energy.
Presenter: Lisa Compton – Manager, Digital Self-Service, Consumers Energy
Best Practices Gold Customer Communications Award Winner:
Improving Customer Sentiment and Reducing Cynicism with a Positive Brand Strategy
Facing negative customer sentiment driven by rate hikes, attacks from solar energy advocates and overall cynicism toward the industry, Westar Entergy implemented an integrated marketing strategy centered around a positive story – the company’s renewable energy efforts – informing customers and influencing their views of the brand. The campaign emphasized Westar’s understanding of and preparation for future energy needs as it outlined the company’s commitment to placing the best interests of Kansas at the heart of its decisions. Westar’s humanized stories, combined with digestible, informative soundbites, educated and informed customers while reducing cynicism and improving brand favorability and sentiment.
Presenter: Dave Clauson – Director, Digital Media/Marketing Communications, Westar
Business-Centric Focus Improves Customer Satisfaction at Ameren Missouri
Ameren Missouri has increased business customer satisfaction by transforming its processes and programs toward a business-centric focus. By offering graphical usage information on a new energy statement, personalized energy efficiency programs and a redesigned Business Customer Care center, the utility has been able to effectively demonstrate its value to business customers. This concentrated effort has helped place Ameren Missouri highest in customer satisfaction in the Midwest among larger utilities as ranked by the J.D. Power Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study for the last two years.
Presenter: Kristy Lovett – Senior Manager, Customer Satisfaction, Ameren Missouri
Optimizing SCE’s My Account Self-Service Customer Experience
Southern California Edison’s broad and integrated marketing efforts continue to drive residential and commercial customers to sce.com to view and pay their bills, educate them about new home automation technology, and provide programs and tools to help them manage energy use and save money. Learn how one of the nation’s largest electric utilities is increasing its digital outreach efforts to not only lower its cost to serve, but to increase customer satisfaction.
Presenter: Linda Malek – Senior Marketing Manager, Southern California Edison
Providing an Excellent Mobile/Web Experience
Recognized as an industry leader in customer satisfaction, Salt River Project will discuss its journey toward expanding digital self-service from strategy to implementation. The session will cover successes and lessons learned from strategy to implementation, Salt River Project will share its journey toward expanding digital self-service now and in the future. The presentation will showcase significant milestones along the journey, from the customer MyAccount portal, to responsive design website refresh, to mobile applications launch, as well as SRP’s future plans.
Presenter: Glen Traasdahl – Director of Emerging Customer Technology, Salt River Project
Best Practices Gold Customer Services Award Winner:
Increasing Engagement and Satisfaction among Small and Mid-size Business Customers
To deliver a comprehensive approach to its customers’ needs, PG&E’s Business Energy Solutions Organization redesigned its customer service to better support micro, small and medium-sized businesses – a segment that comprises 97% of its commercial customer base. As a result, a dedicated small and mid-size business department was reorganized in January 2016 to serve the specific needs of the SMB customer. Through outreach and digital strategy transformation, the utility has expanded its reach and streamlined ways for business customers to connect with PG&E.
Kevin Douty – Senior Manager, Small and Medium Business Energy Solutions, Pacific Gas & Electric (PGE)
Jessica Belcher – Manager, Mid-Market Business Energy Solutions, Pacific Gas & Electric (PGE)
Diane Reyes –Manager, Small Business Energy Solutions, Pacific Gas & Electric (PGE)
Best Practices Gold Outage Communications Award Winner:
AMI Technology in Outage Reporting Channels Improves the ComEd Customer Experience
In ComEd’s service territory, 60% of the outages reported on “blue sky” days are due to a problem with customer-owned equipment — usually, a problem with the property’s circuit breakers. To address this problem, ComEd set out to integrate a meter ping into the outage reporting process. When a customer reports an outage, the utility sends a signal to the customer’s meter. If the meter responds, that means its power is still on and the problem is likely on the customer’s side. The company can then seek to resolve the problem by communicating with the customer rather than by sending a field crew. ComEd has now integrated a smart meter ping across all of its customer-facing outage reporting channels including ComEd.com, mobile app, mobile web, text (SMS), and Facebook. In 2016, this project enabled ComEd to reduce the number of crew truck rolls for customer-reported outages by 40%. The project has also improved the accuracy and timeliness of outage information delivered to customers.
Jennifer Joseph – Principal Project Manager, IT, Exelon Corporation
Mark Sayers – Communications Manager, ComEd
Andrea Wills – Senior Program Manager, ComEd
Xcel Energy Pursues Auto Enrollment Strategy after Major TCPA Decision
A 2016 FCC decision seemed to clear the way for all utilities in the United States to automatically enroll customers to receive outage push alerts by text or robo-call. But questions remain about how the utility industry should respond to the decision. With more than 2.5 million customers enrolled in outage alerts, Xcel Energy has emerged as an industry leader in using the TCPA decision as a springboard for auto enrollment. Attend this session to learn how Xcel decided to move forward with auto enrollments and how customers have reacted.
Presenter: Liz Lindskoog – Product Portfolio Manager, Xcel Energy
Customer Experience and Field Employees
LG&E and KU believes that ensuring a positive customer experience is not just the responsibility of customer service personnel, but all employees and business partners. Several years ago, the company created a customer experience training program for field employees to highlight how their actions affect the customer experience. Since the program’s launch, complaints have decreased and customer satisfaction has increased.
Presenter: Tim Melton – Manager Customer Commitment, LG&E and KU
Simplicity is Key: Embracing Zero-Platform Engagement in a Multi-Channel World
As utility customer communication channels continue to face digital disruption, it’s no longer enough to try and keep pace through a traditional omni-channel approach. To harness the multitude of available channels—mobile, desktop, SMS, social media—while remaining agile and responsive, utilities need to evolve to a “zero-platform” model of customer engagement, which focuses on creating a seamless experience that empowers customers to interact with the company when, where and how the customer wants.
ComEd’s Jennifer Montague will elaborate on how utilities can embrace this shift to a “zero-platform” mindset, and how it can help utilities surprise and delight customers through the use of new technology such as wearables, augmented/virtual reality and other mobile devices.
Presenter: Jennifer Montague – Director, Business Strategy and Technology, ComEd
Best Practices Gold Program Marketing Award Winner:
Increasing EV Adoption through Partnerships and Customer Education
KCP&L launched an electric vehicle (EV) charging station program in 2015 with the goal of installing more than 1,000 EV charging stations throughout its service territory. In 2016, KCP&L launched a campaign to deepen its relationship with EV owners and increase adoption across its service territory. Its campaign strategy included developing a KCP&L CCN affinity group; launching a training program for local auto dealerships to provide education on the CCN; teaming up with Nissan to offer a special discount on the new LEAF; deploying a multitude of digital ads; hosting community events; and launching a dedicated microsite. According to Q1 2017 data released by IHS Automotive and the Electric Power Research Institute, Kansas City topped the nation in EV growth.
Presenter: Jeff Beeson – Marketing and Communications, Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L)