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Episode 4’s “Current and Near-Term Customer Wallet Share” features two industry thought leaders who are thousands of miles apart location-wise but closely aligned strategically. Listen as they discuss their utility’s services and programs to become trusted energy advisors for customers especially as energy bills are taking a larger slice from household and commercial budgets. Hear about partnerships they’ve cultivated to address a broader approach to community assistance.Support the show
Julie Lupinacci interviews Dr. Forrest Morgeson to unpack his synthesis of ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index) research on the relationship between a utility’s financial performance and CSAT. Together, they discuss strategic implications plus the importance of utilities’ banking a “reservoir of goodwill” or “Love Miles” that they can use to weather the ups and downs of customer journeys, service disruptions and the rising costs needed to meet energy transition goals. Support the show
Join CS Week's Rod Litke, host Julie Lupinacci, and guests Lisa Cagnolatti and Gillian Wright as they discuss "A California View of Energy Resiliency." Energy resiliency for California utilities has taken on many weather-related issues such as wildfires, floods, droughts and heatwaves. Energy has also been affected by accidents, equipment failure and days where forecasted demand exceeds capacity. Their energy landscape is undergoing a radical transformation, including:Changing from large, centralized coal and gas plants to a decentralized energy format;Focusing on renewables and a greener grid while realizing those capabilities are wind and sunshine dependent;Planning aggressive EV and carbon neutrality goals; andLooking to other sources like advanced research on the future use of hydrogen.The challenges that the growth of renewables brings to the grid in terms of intermittency means that transmission and distribution costs are set to consume varying amounts of wallet share. Executives from two large California utilities address these challenges and the solutions that lay ahead.Support the show
Oncor’s Debbie Dennis and Eversource’s Penni McLean-Conner recently sat down with CenterPoint Energy’s Gregg Knight to discuss, “The New and Engaged Workforce.” Listen as they describe today’s situation and share solutions from their utilities in this 30-minute podcast. Perhaps their strategic and boots-on-the-ground programs could answer your HR challenges too:·     Reimagining leadership and leader roles·     Workforce choices and workplace flexibility·     Business resource groups·     Partnerships with high schools, community colleges and vocational programs·     Job rotation, career development and cross-training assignments·     Diversity and identity councils·     Listening sessions and “Day of Understanding”Support the show
This episode features Kenny Coleman, SVP & CIO, Stephenie Howard, Dir, Performance Mgmt & Strategy and host Gregg Knight, EVP, Customer Transformation & Business Strategy.  This panel trio regularly works together at CenterPoint Energy, a large multi-state gas and electric utility headquartered in Houston, TX. They discuss how utilities recognize that they must digitally transform their CX. Many have substantially advanced this capability in the past two years during and post-pandemic. Companies are implementing digital business initiatives as a key component of their corporate strategy. There are many critical characteristics of these digital transformations including: the ability to scale to large volumes of interactions during a weather event, the delivery of a seamless and consistent CX across channels and strategic management of data across omnichannel contact points. Listen as the panel discusses on how the CenterPoint Energy’s team is strategizing, implementing and managing its digital evolution.Support the show
Brett Carter and Greg Knight discuss the burgeoning market, the tremendous opportunities this trend is presenting to progressive utilities, and other ways utilities are thinking outside traditional paradigms. Wins for the customer, utility and regulators are part of their spirited conversation. Support the show
In this second podcast episode, Knight and Seavers will discuss their utilities’ approaches to these events and adaptation strategies that support key objectives around promoting equity across customer demographics, protecting energy infrastructure, ensuring critical systems are functional and supporting communities during and after events. Support the show
CS Week Connect, hosted by Gregg Knight, long-time industry thought leader, trailblazer, and service innovator at multiple utilities. In 20-25 minute monthly podcasts, Knight will engage respected professionals in candid, strategic conversations about current utility customer service challenges. But before he controls the mic, Rod Litke, CS Week’s CEO, interviewed Knight for this, our inaugural podcast, “Building Organizational Resiliency When Nothing Is Normal.”Support the show
Hosted by Hydro Ottawa’s Julie Lupinacci, CS Week Connect announces “Investing in the Future of Energy,” starring Spencer Gill and Kerry Hogan, respected utility executives who recently shared a strategically focused conversation about energy investments through the lens of the customer.Gill and Hogan discuss how electric and gas utilities are managing:Energy planning and spendConsumer sentiment and expectationsInvestments in technology tools like next-generation AMI to gain more information for the capital investments utilities must make to meet and exceed changing expectationsEffective, targeted messaging and communicationsSupport the show
After a 20-year career in power generation, Aclara’s Frank Brooks recently moved to the customer engagement side of the utility industry. Listen as he describes the paradigm shift progressive utilities are making to mine their rich AMI data lodes and feed real-time data into platforms like Aclara’s Adaptive Consumer Engagement (ACE) to put helpful energy usage and conservation tips into the hands of consumers anytime. He forecasts that companies who have traditionally looked at AMI data from a utility-oriented lens for operational scheduling and regulatory compliance are now seeing opportunities to become trusted energy advisors in the burgeoning smart home market. Consumers have bought smart home devices and appliances for convenience, but utilities can extend those benefits to include automated comfortability and true cost savings.Support the show
With multiple customer information system replacements in the pipeline at Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU), Chief Customer Officer Bill Shepherd is driving towards three strategic must-be’s with major projects: system intuitiveness, flexibility and sustainability must be embedded in its IVR system, its bill pay and presentment platform, its billing system and upcoming AMI initiatives. GRU’s customers expect local reliability as a core service offering, but they also want a multi-channel customer experience like global retailers offer. This can be challenging for a municipally owned utility where business as usual falls on the side of conservatism, enforced through layers of business case adoption and funding approval. Gain insights from Shepherd’s seasoned acumen and hear how he is managing the staff requirements for GRU’s system replacement initiatives.Support the show
With a quarter century of public power experience, Monica Whiting moved to TECO a couple years ago to lead its company-wide customer transformation initiatives. One of her first challenges involved how to effectively train and engage all the company’s employees. “We want to capture every employee’s heart and mind to make a difference,” she explained. Several experiences drove the “woke” realization that customers expect the same experience with the utility as they have with companies like Amazon and Google, by smartphone and on the go. This led to TECO’s Mobile First strategy. Hear how Whiting harvested ideas from disparate operations and shifted original designs to be more inclusive. Through multiple iterations and striving for three clicks or less, learn how TECO now has more than half its customers registered for and using its portal. Support the show
Since Austin was selected as Best Place to Live by U.S. News and World Reports, this central Texas city has experienced rapid growth, with population surging 30% in ten years. That kind of growth is enviable, but more homelessness and an eight-fold spike in low income and financially insecure customers have accompanied it. Austin Energy, with almost 500,000 customers, has responded with a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach. By partnering with 54 not-for-profit community agencies, this utility helps customers beyond intermittent bill assistance. Their program includes on-staff social workers, case management, monthly check-ins and education. Listen as Customer Care Services VP Jerry Galvan highlights Austin’s situation and solution, which was recently recognized as the 2019 winner of CS Week’s Expanding Excellence Award for Innovation in People & Process.Support the show
What skill sets and aptitudes are progressive utilities trying to hire and retain in their employees? Viewers won’t be surprised by the answers prioritized by Southern Company Gas’s VP, Customer Experience Louise Scott, who identifies three core competencies, some being innate while others can certainly be acquired with time in the utilities culture or honed with experience from other industries. Scott shares how her utility solicits and acts upon voice of the employee, marrying it in fundamental ways with its voice of the customer initiatives. “Our mantra is: Communicate, communicate, communicate… We offer many channels, just like we do with our customers.” Hear how this Atlanta-based gas utility has linked its voices’ initiatives and is supporting them with technological foundations that enable its customer experience transformation.Support the show
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