Programme 2018: Downstream Customer Conference

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Click on each event to view the full programme:
Monday 12th March Tuesday 13th March Wednesday 14th  March
Network Managers'
Strategic Summit
Day One
NZ Downstream
Gala Dinner
Strategic Summit
Day Two

2018 Programme Downloads

2018 Programme downloads will be available soon.

Programme -  

The Downstream Customer Conference showcases how those in the energy sector can utilise developments in technology and new energy options to enhance better customer relationships to enable the industry to deliver value beyond the price point.

Learn how to make the most of your customer's journey and deliver exceptional customer service that will put your brand at the forefront of the customer's mind.  Focusing on:

  • Quantifying the value of exceptional experiences
  • Putting the customer at the heart of your organisation
  • Customer journey mapping
  • Marketing automation and data driven insights

Downstream Customer Conference - Platinum Sponsor:





Registration and coffee



Welcome from the Chair

John Perez - Group Manager Customer Omni-Channel and UX, Genesis



International keynote:  The value of CX quantified – why you need to invest in the customer 

Proving ROI on customer experience can be difficult – initial outlays can be expensive and returns can take years to be fully realised. So how you can prove the value of investing in your customers? In this session, we will examine strategies for quantifying the impact of customer experience on retention, revenue per customer, cost to serve, and cost to acquire, with an eye towards effective communication to a wide management team.

Peter Kriss - Lead Research Scientist, Medallia



Leading digital transformation – winning customers in the era of digital engagement 

The digital revolution is hitting the energy sector, creating the potential to cause widespread disruption without an agile strategy with customer at its heart. Roxanne Salton shares Mercury’s digital transformation with a focus on delivering the best imaginable customer experience.

  • Looking toward the future of omnichannel, mobile and digital strategies for engagement 
  • Learning from other industries and the importance of remaining relevant through agile business processes 
  • Creating engagement platforms that generate true enthusiasm amongst consumers  

​​​​Roxanne Salton - Head of Digital Strategy & Delivery, Mercury



Panel: Winning the hearts and minds of customers – delivering exceptional customer experience 

  • What does great customer experience look like and where should investment lie? 
  • Providing transparency and accountability throughout the customer journey 
  • Investigating the impact on price comparison websites on customer switching rates 
  • Catering for digital natives and technologically savvy customers – how have we had to adapt our services? 
  • Creating innovative and exceptional omni-channel experiences 

Michael Pryor - Customer and Marketing Campaign Manager, Contact Energy 
Jessica Venning-Bryan 
Chief Marketing Officer, Flick Electric
Fiona Smith  GM Customer Operations, Trustpower

Facilitator - David Blakers - Managing Director, MaritzCX APAC

10.10am Morning break & refreshments 


The real game changer…

The real game changer for the energy industry isn't a fuel source or grid hardware or a network architecture or a policy initiative. It's a carbon-based, carbon-emitting life form: the customer…and specifically an IoT-enabled customer. Smart meters, smart thermostats, home energy monitoring systems, and other IoT devices are providing immense amounts of the detail-rich data that utilities need as they seek to shift customer usage away from peak demand periods, optimise rate plans and pricing programs, prevent attrition of profitable customers, attract new customers, and cross-sell new products and services to existing customers.

This presentation will focus on why and how analytics are uniquely positioned to provide game changing capabilities for utility marketers in four key areas: strategy and operations, marketing analytics, multi-channel engagement and the digital experience.

Tim Fairchild - Director, Global Communications and Energy Practice, SAS



Amaze, bless, surprise, delight: Customer journey mapping for compelling service

High quality experiences require consistent and reliable touchpoints throughout all stages of the customer journey with the organisation. Customer journey mapping delivers greater value to the customer that can transform your customer service from satisfactory to amazing.  

  • Understanding how journey mapping can drive efficiencies and deliver premium customer experience  
  • Aligning your goals and your customers’ goals  
  • How can you drive amazement within the electricity sector? 

Jason Borowicz – Customer Centric Improvement Lead, Auckland Council  



The ‘new normal’: data driven marketing for an increasingly competitive market 

  • Why data-driven marketing holds the key to success for creating meaningful and hyper-personalised customer experience
  • How automated marketing can enable agility in your marketing strategy and the opportunity to influence the behaviour of consumers 

Tracy Smithers – Director of Customer and Direct Response Marketing, Westpac


Lunch break



Panel:  Using technology to deliver value to your customers

Yogesh Chand - General Manager Customer Engagement, Pulse Energy Alliance
David Goadby - Founder and Chief Executive, energyclubnz
Dean Gowans - Chief Executive, GoodMeasure

Facilitator - Vaughan Rivett - Digital Futurist, Gentrack



THE AGE OF THE CONSUMER AND Artificial Intelligence

The age of the consumer has transformed expectations - being able to extract relevant communications information in real-time and cross reference it with contextually relevant insights is key. AI and real-time analytics combined with new technologies will transform the future of sales and customer experience.

  • Learn how Spark has improved customer experience and increased sales and marketing effectiveness using an AI solution
  • Evaluate the role of sales in a future where AI will dominate the creation of customer insights and recommendations
  • Changing customer values defines new realities of B2B sales

Hans Arz Portfolio Manager - Customer Analytics and Insights, Spark



Brand Preference – An irrational approach 

In the current competitive climate, trust and brand loyalty are essential and the new frontier for winning customer engagement. How can you generate excitement for an intangible utility and ensure that your brand stays on the forefront of the customer’s mind? 

  • The power of an emotional customer connection 
  • Strategies for an intangible, low-interest category 
  • Building a lasting brand platform 

David Thomason Chief Strategist, FCB


Afternoon break & refreshments

Downstream Customer Conference only delegates join all delegates in the Main Plenary room for the last two sessions.



Keynote address:  CEO Insight – Energy Sector 2030 

The sector needs to acknowledge the huge potential value of our world-class system.   To benefit from both an industry and customer perspective it needs to start thinking more about what needs to change or where we need to be in order to maximise the opportunities.  What will a ‘utility’ look like in 2030, and beyond that, what does the energy ‘system’ look like.  If we take a view of what an ‘optimal’ sector looks like in 2030, what needs to change or happen over the next 12 years to get us there? 

Fraser Whineray – Chief Executive, Mercury
Rob Jamieson - Chief Executive, Orion



Panel:  The future of the energy sector: Innovation, information and industry insight

For our final session, we bring together the leaders from the Strategic Summit, the Technology Conference, the Customer Conference and the Network Manager's Forum to debate the key areas for progress across the energy sector and discuss predictions for the future of the industry. 

  • Unlocking the digital transformation of the industry – the strategies for success and advancement
  • The future energy mix – where should you be directing your investment to make the most of current energy trends
  • Investigating the most pressing challenges within the sector – turning challenge into opportunity

Eric Pellicer – Network Transformation Manager, Powerco
John Perez  Group Manager Customer Omni-Channel and UX, Genesis
Toby Stevenson - Director, Sapere Research Group
Erik Westergaard  - Senior Consultant, Advisian 

Facilitator: John Hancock - Director, Signature Consulting



Closing remarks from the Chair and end of conference.


Downstream Customer Conference - Gold Sponsor