Chartwell’s Best Practices Awards

The purpose of Chartwell’s Best Practices Awards is to identify and celebrate excellence in initiatives aimed at improving customer experience, communications, and awareness in the electric, gas, and water utility industry. Additionally, this awards program serves to facilitate the sharing of innovative, successful ideas with others in the industry.

In recognition of excellence in outage initiatives, three utilities in these categories will be awarded during Chartwell’s PowerUp conference with gold, silver and bronze recognition. Winning utilities will be notified in March 2024. All winners and finalists will be contacted shortly after the announcement to participate in a case study on their efforts and discuss logistics for either a presentation at the conference or a Chartwell webinar.

The award entry deadline has passed. The following categories will be presented at PowerUp:

  • Excellence in Outage Communications
  • Excellence in Outage Operations
  • Excellence in Emergency Management

 

In recognition of excellence in the following categories, three utilities will be awarded during Chartwell’s EMACS Conference with gold, silver and bronze recognition. Winning utilities will be notified in July 2024. All winners and finalists will be contacted shortly after the announcement to participate in a case study on their efforts and discuss logistics for either a presentation at the conference or a Chartwell webinar.

Gold winners agree to present on their award-winning projects at EMACS: The Customer Experience Conference. Silver and Bronze winners agree to present on their efforts during a Chartwell webinar.

The entry window for the following categories will open in March 2024:

  • Excellence in Billing & Payment Programs
  • Excellence in Customer Service
  • Excellence in Digital Experience
  • Excellence in Marketing and Communications
  • Excellence in Serving Vulnerable Customers
  • Excellence in Serving Business Customers
  • Excellence in Electric Vehicle Programs
  • People’s Choice – Video

2024 Best Practices Awards Categories:

This category recognizes innovative communication initiatives designed to improve the customer experience before, during or after an outage event, regardless of size and scope. Entries may include, but are not limited to, efforts related to strategic planning, contact centers, web and mobile services, employee training, changes in messaging and streamlining of processes.

Judges will evaluate the following criteria:

• Improved service through innovation or technology
• Innovation or originality
• Quality of the effort
• Measured results in customer satisfaction related to outage communications
• Operational efficiency gains or savings

This category recognizes initiatives demonstrating excellence or innovation in outage operations practices and procedures that prevent customer outages and/or improve restoration efficiency. Entries may include, but are not limited to, efforts related to strategic planning, employee training, dispatch and coordination, improvements in damage assessment procedures or tools, distribution automation and other improvements in systems and technologies.

Judges will evaluate the following criteria:

• Improved service through innovation or technology
• Innovation or originality
• Quality of the effort
• Measured results in customer satisfaction related to outage duration
• Operational efficiency gains or savings

This category recognizes outstanding strategies and practices in emergency management, emphasizing comprehensive approaches to handling incidents like natural disasters, cybersecurity breaches, and equipment failures. Entrants should showcase unified communication, demonstrating “one voice” coordination with stakeholders, agencies, and regulators. Submissions should highlight successful incident command, response planning, and training, illustrating an organization’s resilience during heightened challenges.

Judges will evaluate the following criteria:

• Continuous performance improvement
• Response strategy effectiveness
• Brand protection
• Impact on customer confidence
• Proven organizational agility

This category recognizes initiatives focused on improving customer service and satisfaction related to billing and/or payment programs. Entries may include, but are not limited to, bill redesign, online bill pay, leveraging data and integration of new technologies.

Judges will evaluate the following criteria:

• Improved service through innovation or technology
• Quality of the effort
• Operational efficiency gains or savings
• Measured results in customer satisfaction

This category recognizes initiatives focused on improving customer service and satisfaction through interactions with customer service professionals via phone, social media, chat, or other channels. Entries may include, but are not limited to, efforts related to training, systems, or technologies.

Judges will evaluate the following criteria:

• Improved service through innovation or technology
• Quality of the effort
• Operational efficiency gains or savings
• Measured results in customer satisfaction

This category recognizes initiatives focused on improving customer service and satisfaction through digital self-service channels such as web, mobile, chat, or virtual assistants.

Judges will evaluate the following criteria:

• Improved service through innovation or technology
• Quality of the effort
• Operational efficiency gains or savings
• Measured results in customer satisfaction

This category recognizes initiatives designed to enhance a utility’s image or brand, educate customers on issues, increase brand awareness, promote products and services, and effectively relay corporate strategy.

Judges will evaluate the following criteria:

• Innovation and originality
• Implementation and execution
• Appeal or attractiveness of campaign or program materials
• Measured results in areas such as engagement tracking, increased brand awareness, customer education, and promotion of products and services

This category recognizes initiatives focused on serving customers experiencing vulnerability due to financial or social insecurity. Entries may include, but are not limited to, identification tools, customer/community engagement, leveraging data, and developing assistance programs.

Judges will evaluate the following criteria:

• Improved service through innovation or technology
• Quality of the effort
• Operational efficiency gains or savings
• Measured results in customer satisfaction

This category recognizes initiatives, programs or processes focused on improving the business customer experience. Entries may include, but are not limited to customer segmentation, relationship management, products and services, VOC research and strategy, internal organization and process optimization.

Judges will evaluate the following criteria:

• Improved service through innovation or technology
• Quality of the effort and/or program materials
• Operational efficiency gains or savings
• Measured results in customer satisfaction

This category recognizes initiatives that realize transportation electrification benefits for the utility, its customers, and/or served communities. Entries may include, but are not limited to EV community engagement and marketing, charging infrastructure, fleet electrification, grid integration, multifamily support and inclusion.

Judges will evaluate the following criteria:

• Promoting the utility as the EV Trusted Advisor
• Innovative approach and/or solution
• Quality of effort and strategic partnerships
• Measured impact and how it aligns with the utility’s strategic objectives

This category recognizes outstanding creative achievement in short video marketing/communications efforts, such as TV spots or digital pre-roll. Chartwell judges will select the Top 3 entries, and the recipients of the People’s Choice Award will be chosen by EMACS attendees. Winners will receive their trophies at the conference.

Submitted videos should be no more than 1 minute long. Each utility can submit up to two videos. Videos must have been released between January 2023 and May 2024.

Chartwell Services

Chartwell has a wide array of membership and subscription service solutions that can help your utility identify strategies to impact customer experience and operational efficiency.

Chartwell’s Insight Center Membership provides timely and actionable benchmarks and insights, proven go-to-market strategies from leading utilities, and the support of our team of analysts. Our Leadership Councils provide a deep network of industry leaders who collaborate regularly on critical issues, sharing perspectives, advice, and solutions.

Tranzact is a utility-led benchmarking study that combines the results of post-outage transactional surveys from multiple utilities enabling them to compare their customers’ outage experience with peer utilities. Chartwell Advisory Services and Executive Services provide one-on-one coaching and leadership development with industry experts.

Learn more about our services