Chartwell’s outage communications awards moving to June conference

By Suzanne Haggerty, Research Manager –

Chartwell’s Outage Communications Conference has been getting bigger and better with every passing year. Next year, we’re upping our game even more by bringing the Best Practices Awards in Outage Communications back to the conference, which will take place June 6-7 in New Orleans.

The awards, which have been part of EMACS: The Customer Experience Conference for several years, recognize 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, field services, training, systems and technologies.

Recent Gold Award winners include ComEd, for its integration of a smart meter ping across all of its customer-facing outage reporting channels; FPL, for leveraging smart grid analytics to predict and prevent outages; and Southern California Edison, for its effort to create a simple, low-effort outage experience for customers in the midst of significant and ongoing infrastructure upgrades (member login required to download case studies).

If you work for a small or mid-size utility, I know what you’re thinking: These companies have millions of customers, and probably a way bigger budget. How do I compete with that?

You don’t compete with that. Instead, you compete with other small or mid-size utilities. For the first time, Chartwell will be segmenting the Outage Communications Awards by utility size. Three utilities in each of two size categories will be awarded during the conference with gold, silver and bronze recognition. The two size categories include utilities with more than 700,000 customers and utilities with fewer than 700,000 customers.

The deadline for entry is Feb. 13, 2018. You can download the entry form on the Outage Communications Conference site.

If you submitted an entry for the 2017 Best Practices Awards that didn’t make the cut, feel free to update it and resubmit, hopefully with updated end-of-year results. Our only timeline requirement is that some or all of the effort submitted should have been undertaken between January 2016 and February 2018.

If you have any questions about the awards, please feel free to reach out to me via email. We look forward to receiving your entries!

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