Oncor to Light Up City Hall With All the New Ways It'll Serve Customers During Outages

Patrick Michels will be Our Man at City Hall today, liveblogging the portion of today's council briefing having to do with Love Field concessions (hey, he asked). But there is something else of interest on the agenda today: Storm Communication Improvements, referring, of course, to how Oncor gets out to customers information related to power outages.

Sure, there have been a few recent upgrades: the power outage map, for starters, and WBAP's Brad Barton will "assist with customer communication during major storms." The company says it's also going to have actual living-and-breathing agents answer calls during outages that last longer than a day, that it's training customer service reps to "help with setting more realistic customer expectations" (good luck with all that) and that it's come up with a way to send outbound messages with restoration updates.

But Oncor's reps will inform the council of what remains on the to-do list. From the briefing:

  • Customer Focus Groups to review Interactive Voice Response System and identify improvements, such as clearer instructions, multiple calls from same customer route to live agent, provide updates while waiting for an agent
  • Text Pilot by year end for friends and family to report outage, receive text confirmation with estimated time of restoration and restoration complete messages
  • Proactively solicit additional phone numbers for customer's account to telephone matches and ease of reporting
  • Implement automated outbound message capability to verify power restoration and provide for automated outage ticket creation if power is not restored

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