Powering Strong Communities
Customer Connections Conference

Customer Connections Conference Sessions—Tuesday P.M.

Back to the Customer Connections Conference Agenda

Tuesday, October 29

1:30 — 2:45 p.m.

Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1.25 / CPEs 1.5

CS  Turning a Negative Customer Experience Around 
  You’ve got an angry, highly agitated customer in your face. How do you deescalate the situation, and find a solution that both you and the customer can live with? Learn a step-by-step approach to deal with irate customers. Get hands-on training in how to listen to, acknowledge, and empathize with customers to make them feel valued and heard. See how you can turn things around to derail potential public criticism and build goodwill for the long term. 

  • Erick Rheam, President, Team Rheam Productions, Inc., Clear Creek, Indiana

    PC  Public Power Gives Back: Community Service Ideas
      Public power utilities take pride in giving back to the communities that own them, not just through payments and services but also through local involvement and support. From volunteering at projects already under way in the community to funding improvement initiatives and supporting underprivileged populations, there is much you can do. Hear from award-winning utilities that are engaging employees and customers in community service projects. Take away new ideas and action steps for your community.

    • Melissa Krause, Executive Director of Communications & External Affairs, New Braunfels Utilities, Texas
    • Andrea Underwood, Director of Human Resources & Community Relations, Paducah Power System, Kentucky

      ES  How to Manage AMI Data to Better Engage Customers
        AMI yields massive amounts of data but managing it can be cumbersome and expensive, keeping you from realizing the full benefit. Learn how you can use a tool designed by Algona Municipal Utilities and Iowa State University to help you probe, analyze, and manage your customer data. The tool extracts portions of stored AMI data to understand the load behavior of different customer classes, analyze peak load and energy consumption, and check for bad and missing data. 

      • Nichelle'Le Carrington, Graduate Student and Research Assistant, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
      • Anne Kimber, Director of Electric Power Research Center, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
      • Todd O'Keefe, Client Services Manager, The Energy Authority, Bellevue, Washington

      KA  Energy Efficiency: Meeting Large Customers’ Goals
        Energy efficiency programs can help your key account customers improve their bottom line and meet sustainability goals. Many large businesses are prioritizing environmental stewardship, setting ambitious standards for themselves, and planning their energy mix and consumption patterns. See how you can be involved in their plans from early on and help them achieve their goals. Hear directly from a panel of large customers and key account representatives on what commercial and industrial customers want and opportunities for your utility.

      • Eddie Campirano Jr., Business Development and Key Accounts Manager, Brownsville Public Utilities Board, Texas
      • Manuel Garza, Manager, Energy Efficiency Services, Austin Energy, Texas


      3:15 — 4:30 p.m.

      Recommended CEUs .1 / PDHs 1.25 / CPEs 1.5

      CS  Scam Alert: Protecting Your Customers 
        Scammers are using more sophisticated tactics every day, causing undue harm to utilities and customers. Some utilities are thwarting the scammers by putting customers on alert. What can you learn from them and how do you educate customers so they don’t fall prey to scams? Get the latest on anti-scam efforts and discuss how you can be prepared when the scammers strike again. Learn where you can get communication resources, data, and best practices to better inform and protect your customers. 

      • Deborah Beaver, Director of Business Development & Community Project Management, JEA, Jacksonville, Florida
      • Monica Martinez, Owner & Principal, Ruben Strategy Group, and Executive Director, Utilities United Against Scams

      PC  Public Communications Roundtable: Rapid-fire Problem Solving 
        Two (or more) heads are better than one. Why struggle alone with your challenges? Join your fellow communicators for a rapid-fire brainstorming session. Submit topics and questions in advance so you can crowdsource solutions and offer up your own ideas.

      ES  Deferring Capital Projects with Demand Response Strategies 
        Utilities like yours are leveraging the “smarter” grid to test creative solutions to flatten load and defer new capital projects in their communities. Some utilities are putting automation tools in the hands of residential and commercial customers so they can more easily respond to utility price signals and benefit from varying rate structures like time of use and coincident peak. Hear from the innovators about their pilot projects and be inspired to replicate the benefits for your utility.

      • Luisa Freeman, Senior Principal Consultant, DNV GL Energy, Nashville, Tennessee
      • John Phelan, Energy Services Senior Manager, Fort Collins Utilities, Colorado

      KA  Leveraging Data to Better Serve Large Business Customers 
        As you continue to implement AMI and other technologies, you have access to increasing amounts of data on customer usage and behaviors. But are getting the most out of the data or is it simply overwhelming? Learn how you can prioritize, analyze, interpret, and share data with your key accounts to keep them informed and engaged with your utility. Understand how to derive actionable insights and help your large customers make informed choices for a sustainable future with a better bottom line.

      • Cody Graves, President, Automated Energy, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
      • Chris Key, Key Accounts Representative, Huntsville Utilities, Alabama
      • Lisa Statum, Key Accounts Representative, Huntsville Utilities, Alabama


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