Chartwell’s Best Practice Awards

The purpose of Chartwell’s Best Practice Awards is to identify and celebrate excellence in initiatives aimed at improving customer experience, communications, and awareness in the electric, gas, and water utility industry. Additionally, this awards program serves to facilitate the sharing of innovative, successful ideas with others in the industry.

In recognition of excellence in outage initiative, three utilities in each category will be awarded during Chartwell’s PowerUp conference with gold, silver and bronze recognition. Winning utilities will be notified in February 2023. All winners and finalists will be contacted shortly after the announcement to participate in a case study on their efforts and discuss logistics for either a presentation at the conference or a Chartwell webinar.

Entries are being accepted until February 8, 2023 for the following categories:

  • Excellence in Outage Communications
  • Excellence in Outage Operations

Entries will open in April 2023 for the following categories which will be presented at the EMACS Conference:

  • Excellence in Billing & Payment Programs
  • Excellence in Communications
  • Excellence in Customer Service
  • Excellence in Digital Experience
  • Excellence in Program Marketing
  • People’s Choice – Video

2023 Best Practice Awards Categories:

This category recognizes innovative communication initiatives designed to improve the customer experience before, during or after an outage event, regardless of size and scope. Entries may include, but are not limited to, efforts related to strategic planning, contact centers, web and mobile services, employee training, changes in messaging and streamlining of processes.

Judges will evaluate the following criteria:

• Improved service through innovation or technology
• Innovation or originality
• Quality of the effort
• Measured results in customer satisfaction related to outage communications
• Operational efficiency gains or savings

This category recognizes initiatives demonstrating excellence or innovation in outage operations practices and procedures that prevent customer outages and/or improve restoration efficiency. Entries may include, but are not limited to, efforts related to strategic planning, employee training, dispatch and coordination, improvements in damage assessment procedures or tools, distribution automation and other improvements in systems and technologies.

Judges will evaluate the following criteria:

• Improved service through innovation or technology
• Innovation or originality
• Quality of the effort
• Measured results in customer satisfaction related to outage duration
• Operational efficiency gains or savings

This category 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.

Judges will evaluate the following criteria:

• Improved service through innovation or technology
• Quality of the effort
• Operational efficiency gains or savings
• Measured results in customer satisfaction

This category 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.

Judges will evaluate the following criteria:

• Innovation and originality
• Implementation and execution
• Appeal or attractiveness of campaign or program materials
• Effectiveness – measured results in some or all of the above-noted areas or engagement tracking

This category recognizes initiatives focused on improving customer service and satisfaction through interactions with customer service representatives via phone, social media, chat or other channels or self-service transactions through the IVR. Entries may include, but are not limited to, efforts related to training, systems and technologies.

Judges will evaluate the following criteria:

• Improved service through innovation or technology
• Quality of the effort
• Operational efficiency gains or savings
• Measured results in customer satisfaction

This category recognizes initiatives focused on improving customer service and satisfaction via self-service channels such as web, mobile and virtual assistants.

Judges will evaluate the following criteria:

• Improved service through innovation or technology
• Quality of the effort
• Operational efficiency gains or savings
• Measured results in customer satisfaction

This category recognizes initiatives designed to promote products and services.

Judges will evaluate the following criteria:

• Innovation and originality
• Implementation and execution
• Appeal or attractiveness of campaign or program material
• Effectiveness – measured results in some or all of the above-noted areas

This category recognizes outstanding creative achievement in short video marketing/communications efforts, such as TV spots or digital pre-roll. Chartwell judges will select the Top 3 entries, and the recipients of the People’s Choice Award will be chosen by EMACS attendees. Winners will receive their trophies at the conference.

Submitted videos should be no more than 1 minute long. Each utility can submit up to two videos. Videos must have been released between January 2022 and May 2023.

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