Outage management and outage communication are essential to a good utility-customer relationship. At the AGA/EEI Customer Service Conference last week, Oncor told the story of how it shifted from a traditional utility mindset to a re-energized, customer-focused company, particularly where it concerned outage communications.

As a regulated piece in the deregulated market puzzle that is Texas, Oncor is the largest utility in the state, and the sixth largest in the United States. Oncor has a relatively small (100-seat) call center to handle outage management, with five million call center transactions per year. According to Pam Wheat, director of customer contact operations for Oncor, two million of those transactions are interactive voice response (IVR) transactions, one million are e-business, and the remainder are telephone calls into the call center.

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