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APPA offers Customer Service Management Certificate Program in February

From the December 4, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published December 4, 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 their relationship with their customers, the performance expectation for employees who manage customer service centers is more intense than ever. To help individuals meet these expectations, 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 contribute to a 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 to help create loyalty and improve the 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. This class also reviews various customer-focused approaches for handling residential, commercial and industrial accounts.

The certificate program was first offered in 2006. To date, more than 80 public power professionals from across the nation, including Puerto Rico and Guam, have completed the required course work. 

To earn a Customer Service Management Certificate, participants must complete the required course work and, within two years of taking the classes, pass an online exam and develop a business plan that shows how their utility can 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 also 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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