General Sessions                                                                    

Transforming the Customer Journey

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.

Presenter:  Scott Johnson – Vice President, Chartwell, Inc. 

Presenter:  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

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.  

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

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: Cathy Ries – Vice President – Customer and Human Resources, UNS Energy Corporation

Breakout Sessions

Digital Engagements 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.

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

The Billing and Payment Programs Award recognizes initiatives focused on improving customer service and satisfaction related to billing and/or payment programs. Entries may include, but are not limited to, bill redesign, online bill pay, leveraging data and integration of new technologies.

The Communications Award recognizes initiatives designed to improve a utility image or brand, educate customers on issues such as rate cases and safety, increase brand awareness and relay corporate strategy.

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 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

The Customer Service Award recognizes initiatives focused on improving customer service and satisfaction. Entries may include, but are not limited to, efforts related to contact centers, web and mobile services, field services, training, systems and technologies.

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, 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 at 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.

Jeff Beeson – Marketing and Communications, Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L)



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