Utility customer service resources are available every day, all day

The utility customer service environment changes dramatically as software and new technologies evolve. Customers come to expect more as they become empowered and tech-savvy, and utilities have responded by making service resources available every day, all day. At CIS Week, we offer multiple venues designed specifically for utility professionals who deal with all aspects of customer service, from the human to the technological side. Our organization, a non-profit, nonbiased utility education provider, exists solely to help the utility industry. Our board of directors and planning committee determine what educational needs are pressing and crucial, searching for utility and industry experts willing to share their valuable knowledge with others.

Publications and Website Resources

We adhere to high standards in all of our venues, not just during the activities of CIS Week. Our quarterly publication, Newsline, features the latest developments in customer service with articles that are relevant to the utility industry and offer in-depth study of the subject in question. We’ve often been told that the Newsline information arrived “just in time” to address a certain issue.

We’ve worked to make our website a valuable resource for utility professionals, too. Recently, on our networking page, we added a sample list of more than 300 utility organizations that have participated in CIS Week. Utility folks can browse the list and see that they are in good company when they select CIS Week education. There is always fertile ground for discussion and comparison of techniques, technologies and solutions when attendees converge on CIS Week.

Our utility industry vendor/consultant pages can be sorted alphabetically by name, and include a list of services and web links. There are more than 200 companies listed, covering all areas of business functionality, from meter to cash. Search under categories such as AMI/MDM, call center solutions, electronic payments, billing, outage management, and mobile field services, just to name a few. The product and services list produces a list of providers for each category, helping utilities narrow the field when trying to choose which way to go.

The CIS resources page of our website features four top-selling books published by PennWell, available for order at a discount price through our site. “Customer Service: Utility Style,” was written by Penni McLean-Conner, vice president of customer care for NSTAR. Penni serves on the board of CIS Conference Inc., and has chaired the Executive Summit for the last three years. She is well qualified to offer advice and many have benefited from the results of her industry research.

Dr. Karl Seger, author of “Revenue Protection: Combating Utility Theft and Fraud,” is slated to conduct a workshop for CIS Conference 31. He will explain methods and precautions that are important to all of us. Also available on the CIS Resources page are “The Energy Marketing Handbook” and “Electric Power Industry in Nontechnical Language,” both by Denise Warkentin-Glenn.

Speaking of books, Chip Bell, well-known author and consultant who specializes in strategies that build customer loyalty, will be our keynote speaker for the CIS Conference 31 general session on Wed., May 24. He has written or co-authored 16 books and conducted training for many large corporations. His keynote will address his book, “Magnetic Service: Secrets for Creating Passionately Devoted Customers.” Chip, Penni, and Karl will be on hand during CIS Week 2007 to sign copies of their books.

If you haven’t experienced a CIS Week venue, you are long overdue.

Jerry Duvall, CEO, CIS Conference Inc. For more information, please visit www.cisweek.org


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