Customer Insights

Thursday, March 14, 2019

9:15 AM – 10:30 AM
Facing the Storm with Improved Outage Communications
Speakers: Russ Henderson, Research Manager, Chartwell
Bill Tierney, Manager, Portland General Electric
Even as customer expectations get harder to meet, hurricanes, polar vortices, wildfires and other events seem to get more frequent. Understandably, more utilities are making outage communications a major priority. This panel will cover a good deal of ground within the large topic of outage communications – examining major trends in customer expectations and new technologies such as chatbots and drones, as well as providing a deep-dive into one utility’s projects. Portland General Electric will share the utility’s roadmap for improving outage communications as well as the company’s efforts to improve the accuracy of estimated times of restoration provided to customers.

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
“Get to Zero” – PSE’s Journey to drive CSAT & Self-Service through the Digital Channels
Speakers: Greg Zeller, Director, Customer Care, Puget Sound Energy
Josh Jacobs, Director of Business Integration, Puget Sound Energy
Carol Wallace, Director, Customer Solutions, Puget Sound Energy
John Mannetti, Manager, Operational Strategic Planning, Puget Sound Energy
As an Energy Company who serves 1.1 million electric customers and 790,000 natural gas customers, PSE used to receive nearly 4 million phone calls a year. That meant 4 million customer problems that they could not solve any other way than calling. In order to address customers’ inquiries, the energy company took on an aggressive challenge and assembled a program called “Get To Zero”.

The goals for the program are to:
• Prevent the problems before they happen – Better customer facing processes
• Digital Transformation – Notify and enable customers to easily self-serve across multiple digital channels
• Quickly help them when they do call – Turn reactive to proactive

In this session, we will explore the program and the progress PSE has made through the journey to improve the customer experience in the areas of Billing, Payments, Credit & Collections, Customer Interface, Data Management, and Integrated Work Management.

1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Community Choice Aggregation 101
Speakers: Michelle Stark, Senior Manager, Customer Service, Customer Choice Services, Southern California Edison
Natasha Keefer, Director of Power, Planning & Procurement, Clean Power Alliance
Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) is an alternative to the investor-owned utility energy business model in which local government entities aggregate the buying power of individual customers within a defined jurisdiction in order to secure alternative energy supply contracts. CCAs can provide the communities they serve with competitively priced, clean energy choices while reinvesting revenues into projects and programs supporting the local economy. The main goals of CCAs have been to lower costs for consumers, to allow customers to choose between energy providers and service options (including renewable energy products), and to give communities the power to make choices about their energy resource portfolios and investments. Join our session to learn more about the massive growth of CCAs and how they’ll partner with utilities to deliver solutions for our customers.

Friday, March 15, 2019

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Back to the Future with AMI
Speakers: Daniel Tunnicliff, Assistant General Manager, Burbank Water and Power
Aravind Yarlagadda, Senior Vice President Outcomes, Itron, Inc.
Utilities began by providing lighting, heating, and related services to customers. Now with the advent of automatic metering infrastructure, utilities and vendors have new opportunities to interact with their customers by leveraging the information provided by AMI. This session examines how electric and gas utilities are using the AMI data and predictive analytics to design, develop, and implement new products, programs, and services to meet customer expectations.

9:15 AM – 10:15 AM
How Customer Engagement Leads to Loyalty and Why It Matters
Speakers: Scott Johnson, Vice President, Chartwell
Carl Lepper, Director or Utility Practice, JD Power
In a rapidly changing marketplace, what can WEI members do to strengthen relationships with their customers? What does it take transform consumers into loyal brand advocates? Winning the hearts of customers is a constant challenge. Our speakers will outline research-based, tested strategies for building connections with consumers, particularly those who are tech-savvy, in our increasingly connected world.

Attendees will learn how to measure and understand where their brand’s consumer advocacy stands through NPS® metrics and how to increase both brand advocacy and loyalty by applying best practices from other industries. This session will also review some success stories from utilities in the region.