Duke Energy announced the formation of a new organization devoted to transforming how customers experience and interact with the company. Leading this new customer experience transformation organization is Barbara Higgins, who has been named senior vice president and chief customer officer.
In this newly created position, Higgins will be responsible for designing end-to-end strategies for measurement, valuation and enhancing the customer experience for residential, business and commercial customers. The new centralized customer experience organization will expand Duke Energy’s capability to actively manage the customer experience through the numerous ways and channels customers interact with the company and provide robust insights into the drivers of customer satisfaction.
“We are moving towards a strong customer-centric culture shaped by improved understanding of customers’ expectations. Barbara’s extensive work in customer experience practices and providing organizational, measurement and brand support across multiple industries will be invaluable to delivering initiatives to meet customer needs,” said Doug Esamann, executive vice president, energy solutions, and president, Midwest and Florida Regions.
Prior to joining Duke Energy, Higgins served as chief customer officer for Allstate Insurance Company where she managed the customer experience organization to drive retention, and implement successful multichannel strategies for improving service, sales, risk assessment and customer communication. Before Allstate, she served as vice president, customer experience at United Airlines, where she led digital and contact center functions and drove significant operational improvements through engagement with employees worldwide. In addition, she served for nearly 19 years in various executive positions at The Walt Disney Company.
“Duke Energy’s recognition of the link between improved customer satisfaction and business results is unique in the utility sector, making it an exciting time to join the company. I’ve spent my career focusing on what motivates customers to help businesses deliver better results,” said Higgins. “I am thrilled to support a company of Duke Energy’s caliber that is committed to diversity, innovation and forward-thinking strategies that will bring greater value and choices to its customers.”
Higgins earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy serves approximately 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. The company’s Gas Utilities and Infrastructure business unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its Commercial Renewables business unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the United States.