Innovative Customer Services Executive
An innovative customer services professional with 18 years of progressively increasing responsibilities in managing billing, collections, hiring and training of customer service representatives, cost control, process and performance improvement, and customer relations for leading utilities, including telecommunications, water and power and light companies.
Expertise includes outstanding strategic planning, customer service, operations, change management, service delivery/fulfillment, regulatory affairs, financial analysis, customer billing and revenue management. A pragmatic manager who knows how to apply Six Sigma excellence to service organizations.
Southwest Water Company, Houston, Texas 2007-2009
Vice President, Customer Services
Managed a call center and billing and collections departments for a major water utility with 1,400 employees and $220 million in revenues with operations in California, Texas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Georgia, New Mexico, Alabama, South Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado. Reported to the Chief Operations Officer.
Managed customer service operations for California, Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma with 100 customer service representatives and billing staff, processing $100 million in billing for more than 250,000 residential and business customers.
Presented a new customer service program and budget for the company’s unification and expansion to the Board of Directors, which passed unanimously.
Implemented an automated voice response system that permitted customers to pay their utility bills without human intervention. This reduced the number of incoming calls requiring staff response by 37% and improved customer satisfaction.
Initiated and implemented a program that brought together two cross-functional operations teams to resolve common communications problems with focus on customer service performance and the company’s two main services, municipal utility management and water distribution.
Designed a customer service representative (CSR) training program that trains six to eight staff at a time, which is a significant improvement over previous training methods.
Established a quality assurance program that scored samples of calls, which provided benchmarks and areas for customer representative improvement.
Prepared the annual customer service budget amounting to $8 million, covering 100 customer representatives, payment processors, administrative and quality assurance staff.
Created and implemented an action team that addressed billing issues bringing together the Client Management, Customer Service and Field Operations Departments.
Introduced leadership training forums that addressed different leadership skills on a monthly basis. The entire management team went through this program with excellent feedback.
Implemented the FTC red flag rules protecting the company’s clients from fraud and identity loss.
During the last 12 months, the above programs significantly improved customer retention.
Alliance Data Systems Corporation (ADS), Dallas, Texas 2005-2007
Senior Manager of Production Change Management
Directed a team of 15 project managers and business analysts doing production setups and executing change orders for a leading business service company providing private-label credit card operations, credit and transaction services, and marketing for 800 major corporate clients, generating $2 billion in sales with 7,400 employees.
Setup a Project Management Office (PMO) for the Direct Energy Company in Houston, Texas, which provided business process and system enhancement.
Developed a scorecard for the Direct Energy Company, which reported on key operating metrics so that the company would have visibility into ADS’s performance in executing change orders for customer billing and call center services.
Worked with the ADS IT Department in setting up a reporting system so that the ADS Utilities Division was able to monitor the IT Department’s intervention for its operating problems.
Participated on a committee that investigated using foreign resources to provide call center services as well as programming for client companies.
Dayton Power & Light, Inc., Dayton, Ohio 2003-2005
Reported to the Vice President of Service Operations for managing customer services for a regulated power utility with $1.5 billion in sales, serving 515,000 customers. Managed a team of 90 customer service representatives and administrative staff with a $12.4 million operating budget.
Implemented an IT application that permitted customers calling in to leave their telephone number and have a callback from a customer service representative, thereby eliminating excessive waiting time for service.
Initiated use and implementation of the IEX Workforce Management application that improved manning of the customer service staff and saved $300,000 in avoided costs the first year.
Created an online knowledge base that was used by CSRs in responding to customer questions and inquiries.
Oversaw a $53 million capital budget concerning all changes, additions and replacements for company assets in the Transmission and Distribution Department.
AT&T (formerly SBC Mobile Systems & Cingular), Dallas, Texas 1991-2002
Regional Vice President, Global Accounts (2000-2002)
Managed support services for sales operations of a new marketing division approaching Fortune 100 companies that generated $300 million in annual revenues. Arranged the logistics in fulfilling nationwide mobile services in support of national contracts. Managed 115 customer service and billing representatives with a budget of $8 million.
Designed and implemented a new application that permitted the fulfillment center to supply services and equipment directly to corporate customers. This increased service levels, including hookup and delivery of equipment. First year savings were $5.2 million in efficiency, $19.6 million in faster revenue recognition, and $2.2 million in reduced rework and error resolution.
Consolidated 14 billing systems into three and 1,000 fulfillment offices into a centralized fulfillment center with savings of more than $25.3 million.
SBC Communications, Dallas, Texas
Area Manager, Industry Markets (1998-2000)
Developed, supported and defended SBC’s wholesale marketing policy positions before external stakeholders, including state regulatory commissions in California, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through oral and written testimony.
- Represented Southwestern Bell Telephone in arbitration hearings centered on advanced telecommunications services, specifically DSL technology, and prevailed in five contested cases.
SBC Communications, Houston, Texas
Area Manager, Credit & Collections (1997-1998)
Created, staffed and managed a statewide call center for residential credit policies and collections that grew to 165 employees. Trained and developed a team of ten managers with supervisory, training and development responsibilities for more than 150 customer service representatives.
The center reduced overall bad debt by 12.1%, resulting in $2.4 million in savings the first year.
Introduced an innovative “hot seating” concept that reduced expenses and improved unit accessibility by 5.3%, from 88.6% accessibility to 93.9%.
Manager, Billing Inquiry Center (1996-1997)
Managed a team of 14 customer service representatives that processed customer billing inquiries and marketed SBC’s products and services to residential customers.
- Planned and implemented a successful customer service campaign for the Houston area, exceeding service quality objectives by 8%, with unit scores achieving 95.7% customer satisfaction.
Manager, Profitability Analysis (1994-1995)
Forecasted, budgeted and analyzed more than $500 million in annual revenues as part of a management review. Developed financial models that evaluated product pricing decisions for existing and new products.
Designed a report that produced monthly margin contribution reports for each division, shifting management focus from traditional indices to that of profit and loss. This was a first for SBC regional operations and has become a corporate-wide procedure.
Provided strategic support on the creation and implementation of the company’s first “Caller ID” initiative, which went on to capture 88% of the market.
Manager, Installation & Repair (1992-1993)
Managed 18 service technicians, providing installation and repair services for Southeast Houston. Trained four new technicians in installation and repair procedures. Using statistical quality control procedures, reduced warranty service visits by 12%.
Manager, Sales & Service Center (1991-1992)
Managed a team of 12 customer service representatives that sold SBC products and services to small business customers for a branch of the SBC Houston market area. Planned and implemented a successful sales campaign for the 85 branch members, exceeding sales objectives by 23%.
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
Master of Business Administration, 2002
Baylor University, Waco, Texas
Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration, 1990
Other Courses: Customer Service, Financial Analysis, Emerging Technologies, Public Speaking, Consultative Selling, Leadership Styles, Sexual Harassment, Diversity and Performance Management
Six Sigma, Black Belt Certification, 2004
Received Black Belt certification following completion of courses in General Electric’s Six Sigma Process Control led by a GE Master Black Belt Instructor