Oncor announced today that Brenda Jackson was named Chief Customer Officer, making the company one of the first electric delivery utilities in the country to establish this role.
As the electric market continues to evolve, Oncor recognizes that the voice of the customer must be heard in strategic discussions. By establishing the CCO position, Oncor is creating a customer-centric culture where customer viewpoints and questions will be considered in all corporate decision-making.
“Recent events have shown us that we need to reinforce our relationship with the people we serve and step up and help them,” Oncor Chairman and CEO Bob Shapard said. “Customers told us they need us. We’re listening and changing.”
Because Texas’ electric market is competitive, it gives customers the power to pick their retailer and their plan. Customers get the same reliable delivery from Oncor no matter what retailer they pick. However, Oncor is separated from customers by the retail businesses, which has historically meant that Oncor is not as in touch with the customers as they want. That separation will be bridged with the company’s new focus on customers, and customers will have a new source for objective information.
“The electricity market can be confusing and complicated to people,” Shapard said. “Customers need a place to turn for answers, and unfortunately, we’ve seen some groups in the market abandon these customers and others provide incorrect information when what customers really need is someone to listen and help. Since we don’t sell electricity in the market, we can be the objective source.”
Shapard noted that Jackson was the ideal choice for this position given her years of experience with both customers and the communities Oncor serves. In the coming weeks, Shapard said Jackson will be announcing new initiatives designed to help customers and address their needs.
The CCO position will be responsible for all of Oncor’s customer outreach programs, including energy efficiency and safety public awareness, as well as listening to customers to identify future needs and expectations. Shapard noted the CCO will facilitate two-way communications between the customer and the company.
“I am excited about the positive changes and learning opportunities this new position will bring to Oncor,” Jackson said. “More important is the fact that customers will have an advocate for them inside the company. I am fully prepared to listen and take what I learn to leadership, helping ensure business strategy is influenced by customer input.”
Establishing a CCO position puts Oncor in a select group of companies that have created the same role to keep a pulse on customer insights. In 2004, there were only four CCOs within the Fortune 500 ranks, and even now there are only approximately 300 globally. According to the CCO Council, a majority of these CCOs (60 percent) were promoted from within their organizations and elevated to this C-level role based on a deep understanding of the company and its connection to its customers.
In her 36 years with the company, Jackson has spent the lion’s share of her career in customer operations, customer service and community relations functions. As Oncor’s Senior Vice President of Business Operations, she oversees a team of more than 100 Oncor employees and, indirectly, the dedicated customer care and revenue management employees of a major contractor. Her role at Oncor helps to cultivate and sustain effective customer, municipality and community relationships with key stakeholders. Throughout her career, Jackson has served on countless civic and community boards and currently serves on the boards of the Dallas Heritage Society and the Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute at the Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center.