$349 Registration Fee

Room 131 A
April 9, 2019   |   8:00 AM - 3:00 PM



7:30 AM - 8:00 AM

Continental Breakfast



7:30 AM - 8:00 AM 




8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Welcome / Introduction to Digital Customer Engagement Synergy Group



8:30 AM – 9:15 AM

Voice for Utilities

Speaker: Fei Wang, Senior Research Analyst, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables

  According to a survey conducted by NPR and Edison Research in early 2018, around 43 million people in the U.S. own a standalone voice assistant device such as Amazon Echo and Google Home. The adoption rate has been remarkable considering the short history of the technology. These devices are evolving into a platform for smart home controls and automation. The embedded AI-driven digital assistants also provide an additional channel for utilities to engage with customers. This presentation will focus on various use cases for utilities using voice assistant devices, such as delivering home energy reports, sending high bill alerts, communicating outage information, etc. This presentation also includes a competitive analysis of vendors with ongoing utility deployments.
9:15 AM – 10:00 AM
How to Effectively Engage Customers with a Self-Service Portal

Speakers: Paul Rao, Director of Information Systems (Retired), Fayetteville Public Works Commission & Letitia Cisco-Smith, Project Manager, Fayetteville Public Works

After a successful launch of Fayetteville Public Works Commission’s (FPWC) new customer self-service portal in October 2018, the utility identified proven methodologies to deliver the “3 E’s” known as customer Education, Engagement, and Empowerment. FPWC teamed up with Milestone Utility Services to offer digital billing & payment, notifications, usage insights, and more via Milestone ePortal, a leading utility customer portal. The utility has seen improvements in program participation for Time-of-Use, Community Solar, Choose-Your-Own-Due-Date, and Rebate initiatives. By embracing the digital transformation and multi-channel preferences of their 120,000 electric / water customers, FPWC met several project goals within only six months following go-live. In this session, we’ll cover: 1.) tips to gain more operational benefits available with digital self-service; 2.) ways to give customers more choices to gain their trust and therefore program participation; 3.) lessons learned when implementing a new customer self-service portal.

 10:00 AM - 10:15 AM
Break – Refreshments in foyer 
 10:15 AM - 11:00 AM
Next-Gen CSR: How AI is Reinventing Customer Service
  Speaker: Josh Gleason, Head of Product Marketing, Bidgely

Leading utilities are taking advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) and data science to address aspects of Customer Service like high bill calls, shifting to proactive, digital customer alerts and arming CSRs with information to pinpoint the causes of high usage rather than surmising.

This presentation will introduce attendees the next generation of “grid edge virtual CSRs” that effectively leverage AI, digital channels and Voice Assistants to eliminate the need for high bill calls altogether. In cases where a customer wants to speak to a human being, the rep has what he or she needs to quickly analyze the situation.

 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Personalized Empowerment and the Duck Curve

Speaker:Judson Tillinghast, Arizona Public Service

  When Arizona Public Service (APS) introduced new electricity rates to better integrate solar energy into the grid, calls spiked with upset and confused customers unfamiliar with the new rates.  To maintain and even improve customer experience during this important change, APS embarked on a program to empower customers to more effectively answer rate and billing related questions on their own.  By combining leading data science techniques with their own customer energy usage data, as well as an integrated personalization platform, APS was able to provide each customer with best rate plan for them and other personalized rate education data.  APS was able to deliver this rate education within the customer's MyAccount experience as well as within CSR call center screens, creating a more consistent customer experience.
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM



1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Open Forum Discussion


Attendees, this is a great opportunity to bring Hot Topics and Top of Mind issues to discuss with peers in your industry with similar interest and challenges. 


2:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Closing and Surveys

We will close with a review of today’s session and completion of surveys.

If you have a Synergy Group question, please contact:


Synergy Groups Manager