Southern California Edison, FortisBC, Hydro One, KCP&L and ComEd recognized with Chartwell’s 2018 Best Practices Awards

By Suzanne Haggerty, Research Manager

Southern California Edison, FortisBC, Hydro One, KCP&L and ComEd have taken the top honors in Chartwell’s 14th annual Best Practices Awards.

Chartwell’s Best Practices Awards recognize excellence among electric and gas utilities with respect to projects, programs and service initiatives. The categories include Billing and Payment Programs, Communications, Contact Center, Program Marketing and Self-Service.

Gold Award winners will discuss their initiatives during EMACS – The Customer Experience Conference, Oct. 22-25 in Tampa.

All Best Practice Award winners and finalists will be recognized during an awards luncheon on Oct. 24. The conference features more than 30 sessions focused on customer experience-related issues facing the utility industry, including billing and payment, customer care, marketing, process automation and mobile app design. A special rate is available to attendees who register by Sept. 14, 2018.

Each year, the judges, who are all members of Chartwell’s research team, are charged with the difficult task of selecting the best programs. This year’s selection process was made even tougher by the number of quality entries that were submitted – more than 100 across five categories:

Billing and Payment Programs

  • Southern California Edison will receive the Gold Billing and Payment Programs Award for its robotics process automation efforts, which reduced costs and improved performance, achieving an approximate savings of the equivalent of 41 full-time employees.
  • PSEG earned the Silver Billing and Payment Programs Award for its bank account number validation project, which reduces the possibility of customers or CSRs entering the wrong bank account number into the customer information system and prompting failed payments and decreased customer satisfaction.
  • Hydro One earned the Bronze Billing and Payment Programs Award for its Promise to Pay Program, an alternative to traditional payment plans that has considerably improved the company’s default rate.

Communications

  • FortisBC is the Gold Communications winner for its Renewable Natural Gas educational campaign, which used psychographic data to target Gen Xers and millennials.
  • Southern California Edison will receive the Silver Communications Award for its Clean Energy Future Brand campaign, which emphasized the company’s commitment to clean, reliable energy to employees, candidates, customers and key influencers.
  • Dominion Energy earned the Bronze Communications Award for its milestone-based Strategic Underground Program customer communication strategy, which is allowing the company to set and manage expectations and educate customers before line undergrounding work begins.

Contact Center

  • Chartwell analysts named Hydro One as the Gold Contact Center Award winner for its robotics process automation journey, which introduced bots to customer care operations, enhancing the overall customer experience and increasing the company’s digital footprint.
  • Con Edison will receive the Silver Contact Center Award for its gas emergency e-learning training initiative, the utility’s first interactive learning initiative for the Customer Operations group on emergencies.
  • ComEd will receive the Bronze Contact Center Award for its Concierge Moving Service program, which sought to improve CSAT and brand reputation by leveraging ComEd’s AMI technology to offer to start electrical service for customers 24/7 365 days a year. ComEd also partnered with Kandela and engages CSRs to offer a free convenient concierge service to all customers moving into the ComEd territory.

Program Marketing

  • Chartwell analysts chose KCP&L as the Gold Program Marketing Award winner for its Nest activation campaign, which reminded DIY customers of their role in the Nest Rush Hour Rewards Program and increased the thermostat activation rate from 75% to 93%.
  • PECO will receive the Silver Program Marketing Award for its lead generation, sector-based Solutions Illustrated campaign, which implemented a funnel approach to C&I programs and engaged an untapped customer segment – small and medium sized businesses (SMBs).
  • SMUD will receive the Bronze Program Marketing Award for its Energy Store marketing strategy, which targeted digital-minded customer segments and helped lead to $1 million in online marketplace sales before rebates.

Self-Service

  • ComEd earned the Gold Self-Service Award for its redesigned mobile app, which includes features such as touch ID and facial recongition ID login capability, touch to pay and bill trends with graphical data.
  • Hydro One earned the Silver Self-Service Award for its IVR system updates, which enhanced the self-service experience and increased call containment.
  • LG&E and KU earned the Bronze Self-Service Award for its IVR time extension automation project, which enabled customers to establish time extensions without the need to speak with a CSR, reducing call volume while enhancing the customer experience.

For more information on EMACS or Chartwell’s Best Practices Awards, contact Suzanne Haggerty.

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