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APPA offers Customer Service Management Certificate Program in February

From the October 30, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published October 30, 2013

By Heidi Lambert
Manager, Education

APPA will hold its Customer Service Management Certificate Program during the Winter Education Institute, Feb. 3-7, 2014, in New Orleans, La. 

Because public power utilities place a high priority on the relationship with their customers, utilities have high expectations for employees who manage customer service centers. To help these individuals meet their needs, APPA created a five-day certificate program designed for customer service representatives, managers and supervisors. The curriculum consists of the following five classes: 

•  Electric Utility Industry Overview
A non-technical operations overview and introduction to integrated resource planning. 

•  Management of Successful Customer Service Operations
A course with case studies, data and strategies that support six core factors that have directly contributed to a public power utility’s quality of service. 

•  The Leadership Development Process 
A course to teach managers how to motivate employees to achieve successful day-to-day performance. Participants also learn basic tenets of leadership that help create loyalty and improve communication of goals and objectives. 

•  Technology: From Meter Reading to Customer Information Systems 
A review of the latest in customer service technology, including metering, billing, telecommunications, Internet options and other high-tech customer service solutions. 

•  Utility Collections: The Complete Process 
An in-depth analysis of the structure and operations of utility credit and collections, with examples of how utilities in this country and abroad are organized to manage credit risk. It also reviews customer-focused approaches used for residential, commercial and industrial accounts. 

The certificate program is tailored to public power utilities and provides specific information and strategies that participants can use in their jobs. The certificate program was first offered in 2006. To date, more than 80 public power professionals from across the nation have completed the required course work. 

To earn a Customer Service Management Certificate, participants must complete the required course work. Within two years of taking the classes, they must pass an online exam and develop a service department assessment and business plan that shows how their utility can use technology, labor and new processes to improve customer service. 

The Customer Service Management Certificate Program courses are held once a year, in conjunction with one of APPA’s education institutes. APPA can bring the courses to local communities through the association's in-house training program. 

The Winter Education Institute also features courses on accounting, financial planning, cost of service and rate design, and underground distribution systems. There is a $100 discount for those who attend more than one course or who attend with a colleague. 

Attendees can earn credits toward their professional certifications by attending these events. APPA offers continuing education units, professional development hours and continuing professional education credits for participating in courses. 

For more information, visit and click on "courses and workshops" or contact Meghan Riley at 202/467-2919 or



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